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Deadline Dec. 2 to apply for FEMA funds

November 15, 1997

Agencies that run emergency food and shelter programs in Washington County have until Dec. 2 to apply for a share of the $47,645 awarded locally by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for fiscal 1998.

"The figure is down $9,000 from the previous year so we will have to prioritize carefully this year," said June Stouffer of the United Way of Washington County.

This coming year, those funds will be meted out at the rate of 42 percent for mass shelters, 41 percent for eviction prevention, 15 percent for emergency food and 2 percent for administration costs, which Stouffer said is put back into programs and services.

The local FEMA board is made up of representatives from local government, local providers and a local homeless or formerly homeless person.

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All applicants must be nonprofit, have an accounting system and annual audit, practice non discrimination, demonstrated ability to provide services and if volunteer, have a volunteer board.

Last year, FEMA funds totalling $56,911 went to Washington County Community Action Council, Salvation Army, Washington County Council of Churches, CASA, the Hagerstown YMCA and St. John's Shelter for the Homeless.

Those agencies were responsible for providing 27,223 meals and 1,410 nights of lodging during fiscal 1997, Stouffer said.

In FY 94-95, Washington County agencies spent $79,808 in funds from FEMA allocations.

Each year when these emergency funds run short, the community and churches are called up to make up the difference by donating food to local food banks so children and others do not go hungry.

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