CSBG, or the Community Services Block Grant, is an anti-poverty block grant which provides the core funding to more than 1,000 Eligible Entities across the United States for services that reduce poverty, promote self-sufficiency, and revitalize low-income communities.
CSBG funding supports projects that:
- Lessen or eliminate poverty in communities and foster self-sufficiency
- Address the needs of low-income individuals including the homeless, migrants and the elderly
- Provide services and activities addressing employment, education, better use of available income, housing, nutrition, emergency services and/or health
The CSBG is federally funded and administered by the state through the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). The CSBG funds are distributed to a network of local organizations known as Eligible Entities or Community Action Agencies. There are 15 Community Action Agencies in Arkansas that assist low to moderate-income individuals in all 75 counties.
The Community Action Agencies are characterized by their tri-partite board of elected public officials, representatives from the low-income community and from the private sector to maintain the network’s focus on community representation and accountability. They have a designated geographic service area not served by another Community Action Agency.
Client eligibility is determined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines which are updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 9902(2). Eligibility for CSBG is calculated at 125% of Federal Poverty Guidelines
2020 Poverty Guidelines, all states (except Alaska and Hawaii)
The Emergency Solutions Grant Program (ESG)
The ESG program provides funding to:
- Engage and offer services to homeless individuals and families living on the street;
- Improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families; and to help operate these shelters
- Provide essential services to shelter residents;
- Rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families; and
- Prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless
The funding is provided to non-profit agencies or units of government through a grant application and award process.
The ESG program runs on the federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30). The funding varies from year to year and is determined at the federal level.,
ESG is regulated by 24 CFR Part 576 and by the State’s ESG Policy and Procedure Manual.