Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)

Emergency Solutions Grant

The Emergency Shelter Grant is now the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), as amended and defined through the HEARTH Act, which amends and reauthorizes the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act with substantial changes, including:

  • Broaden the definition of "homeless" and "at-risk of homelessness"
  • Broaden the existing emergency shelter and homeless prevention activities
  • Help people quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness
  • Support more coordinated and effective data collection, performance measurement, and program evaluation

Definition of Homelessness

At risk of homelessness includes three categories under which an individual or family may qualify as "at risk of homelessness" in order to be eligible for homeless prevention assistance. One of these categories is having incomes below 30% of area median income.

ESG Eligible Activities

  • Street outreach
  • Emergency shelter
  • Homeless prevention
  • Rapid re-housing
  • Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
  • Administration

Eligible Applicants

Only private non-profit organizations who have been providing homeless services for at least one year are qualified for funding, must have capacity to provide matching funds (in-kind contributions) equal to the amount awarded, must involve, to the minimum extent practicable, homeless individuals and families in ESG activities, and must be able to provide written certification that they are a part of a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

ESG Match Component

ESG participants are required to provide matching funds (including in-kind contributions) equal to the amount awarded. In calculating the amount of matching funds, the following may be included:

  • Any salary paid to staff of the recipient local government or nonprofit provider in carrying out the emergency shelter program
  • Hard cash amounts dedicated for homeless assistance activities
  • Recipient will determine the value of any donated material or building, or any lease, using any method reasonably calculated to establish a fair market value
  • Time and services contributed by volunteers to carry out the emergency shelter program, determined at the rate of $5 per hour
  • Value of any lease on a building

For a summary of ESG program eligibility requirements and provisions access the following documents:

Additional Resources: