Anticipated federal funds for emergency food and shelter programs will soon be available to qualifying local nonprofits in San Joaquin County.

In order for a nonprofit to be eligible for funds, they must offer an emergency shelter in their community, according to Bill Mendelson, executive director of Central Valley Low Income Housing Corp.

“An emergency shelter is a facility whose primary purpose is to provide immediate, temporary housing for individuals,” Mendelson said.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency allocated $455,965 for San Joaquin County.

“There is a formula that is used to determine the amount of funding we receive. The legislature looks at our county’s population size, its unemployment rate, and our poverty levels,” said Angie McKinney, a consultant at United Way of San Joaquin County.

The emergency food and shelter program was established in 1983 through the Jobs Stimulus Bill, passed under President Ronald Reagan.

Over the past 35 years, the federal government has used United Way go-between for the private and public sectors in order to provide funds to human service agencies across communities nationwide, McKinney said.

Qualifying nonprofits are reviewed by a board of community members who represent the county. The board selects the organizations that will receive funding from applications that are sent to the county’s United Way office.

Then, the county’s United Way provides funding to the agencies. Nonprofits that receive funds are located all over the county, including in Lodi.

“In the past, we have provided funding to the Lodi Salvation Army and Lodi House,” McKinney said.

Applications are currently available. Any nonprofit that meets the requirements of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program is encouraged to apply for funding.

Organizations can request application forms from United Way of San Joaquin County at 777 N. Pershing Ave. in Stockton, or by calling 209-469-6980.

All applications must be completed and returned to United Way by 4 p.m. Thursday, April 11.

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