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Federal money filters down for low income families

Federal money filters down for low income families
A local organization is set to benefit from the recent announcement by Gov. Phil Bredesen’s office involving federal stimulus funding. Bredesen said $19.5 million is targeted for Tennessee’ in federal monies. The money will be filtered through the Department of Human Services to help low income seniors, individuals with disabilities and families with very small children.
Of the 20 organizations slated to receive federal stimulus funding, Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council in Dresden will receive $923,631. NWTNEDC serves people in Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion and Weakley counties.
The funds are made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program. The funds will flow through the Tennessee Department of Human Services and on to the 20 community action and human resource agencies across the state and are targeted at low-income seniors, individuals with disabilities and families with very small children.
“Community Services Block Grant funds are a lifeline to our most vulnerable citizens,” said Bredesen.
“The additional dollars will help more families take care of the basics: putting food on the table, making this month’s rent or mortgage payment, or even buying diapers and baby formula for their children.”
The goal of the CSBG program is to provide services to eligible low-income individuals and families to improve the communities in which they live. A family or individual must be living at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines (that’s $27,562/year for a family of four). CSBG agencies will focus on five areas for their ARRA funding: nutrition (particularly food banks), employment, housing, health, and emergency services.
“DHS sees effects of this troubled economy every day, in every corner of the state,” said DHS Commissioner Gina Lodge.
“The number of individuals and families applying for public assistance programs has risen greatly over the past year. We are so pleased that more help for vital services will be made available through the Recovery program and our local CSBG agencies.”
The CSBG Recovery Act provides $1 billion in federal funds to be distributed nationally. Tennessee’s share is $19.5 million.
A breakdown by agency can be found on the following pages. For more information on Tennessee’s Recovery efforts, visit: www.tnrecovery.gov .
For more information on the Recovery projects at DHS, visit : www.tn.gov/humanserv.
WCP 7.30.09

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