Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)


The Emergency Solutions Grant is designed to assist people to quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness. The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act) amended the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, revising the Emergency Shelter Grants Program in significant ways and renaming it the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program. The ESG Interim Rule took effect on January 4, 2012. 


The Emergency Solutions Grant focuses on assisting people to quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness. The ESG program provides funding to:

  • Engage homeless individuals and families living on the street;
  • Improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families;
  • 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.

Eligible Activities

The Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program provides homeless persons with basic shelter and essential supportive services. ESG funds may be used for five program components: 

  • Street Outreach
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Homelessness Prevention
  • Rapid Re-Housing Assistance
  • Data Collection (HMIS)

See the Program Components Quick Reference Guide for more details on these allowable activities. 

Eligible Clientele

The minimum eligibility criteria for ESG beneficiaries are as follows: For essential services related to street outreach, beneficiaries must meet the criteria under paragraph (1)(i) of the “homeless” definition under § 576.2.  For emergency shelter, beneficiaries must meet the “homeless” definition in 24 CFR 576.2.  For essential services related to emergency shelter, beneficiaries must be “homeless” and staying in an emergency shelter (which could include a day shelter). For homelessness prevention assistance, beneficiaries must meet the requirements described in 24 CFR 576.103par. For rapid re-housing assistance, beneficiaries must meet requirements described in 24 CFR 576.104. Further eligibility criteria may be established at the local level in accordance with 24 CFR 576.400(e). 

Match Requirement

Each subrecipient of ESG funds will provide a 100% (1 for 1) match. Matching is required to be reported quarterly in conjunction with reimbursement requests.

Continuum of Care Participation
All ESG recipients must consult with the Continuum(s) of Care operating within the jurisdiction in determining how to allocate ESG funds. The Continuum of Care in Norfolk is the Southeastern Virginia Homeless Coalition (SVHC), for which The Planning Council is the lead agency. Visit https://www.hamptonroadsendshomelessness.org/svhc.html for more information.

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