The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, May. 18, 2022

County has critical need for FEMA funds

Van Wert independent/contributor content

Van Wert County officials are crossing their fingers in hopes that the Federal Emergency Management Agency distributes additional funds to help needy county residents.

“Whether Van Wert County will receive FEMA funds or not will be determined by Congress in the next couple of weeks,” states Deb Russell, local FEMA board president. “We have received a letter stating funding is not guaranteed or may not continue for the entire fiscal year 2011, but we should proceed as if we are going to receive funds.”

Last year, Van Wert received $33,394 to supplement food and shelter programs in the county.  If funding is not received this year, it will have a huge impact on how many people can be served.  Funding at agencies is stretched to the limit to begin with.  Some agencies have already experienced cut backs by state and federal funding.  This will just make the situation worse.”

The selection is made by a national board chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and consisting of representatives from The Salvation Army; American Red Cross; United Jewish Communities; Catholic Charities; USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; and United Way of America, which will provide the administrative staff and function as fiscal agent. The board is responsible to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high need areas around the country.  A local board made up of Andrew McMahon of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, Sue Linton of First United Methodist Church, Van Wert County Board of Commissioners representative Mike Jackson, Northwest Ohio Community Action Commission representative Jackie Teegarden, American Red Cross Director Edie Laukhuf, Major Judy Barter of The Salvation Army, Crisis Care Line/House of Transition Director Kathy Boaz, Jamie Evans of the YWCA, Annette Balyeat and Deb Russell of United Way of Van Wert County.

The Local FEMA board will determine how the funds awarded to Van Wert County are distributed among emergency food and shelter programs run by local service organizations in the area.  The local board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local organizations chosen to receive funds must:

  • Be private voluntary non-profits or units of government,
  • Have an accounting system.
  • Practice non-discrimination.
  • Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/ or shelter programs.
  • If applicants are private voluntary organizations, they must have a voluntary board.

Qualifying organizations are urged to apply.  In 2011 Van Wert County distributed Emergency Food and Shelter funds previously with Cooperative Ministries, The Salvation Army, Crisis Care Line, Community Action Commission, and the YWCA.

Public or private voluntary organizations interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact Deb Russell at the United Way office for an application.  The deadline for applications is March 10 at noon.

For more information, contact The United Way at 419.238.6689.

POSTED: 02/26/11 at 2:21 am. FILED UNDER: News