Community Services Block Grant Program
On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) of 2009. This legislation authorized “…supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization….” [Public Law 111-5] The Recovery Act provides for $1 billion in additional funds to the Community Services Block Grant program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009. States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories, hereafter referred to as States, have until September 30, 2010, to expend the additional funds.
The specific language from the Recovery Act related to the Community Services Block Grant states:
$1,000,000,000 for carrying out activities under sections 674 through 679 of the Community Services Block Grant Act, of which no part shall be subject to section 674(b)(3) of such Act: Provided, That notwithstanding section 675C(a)(1) and 675C(b) of such Act 1 percent of the funds made available to each State from this additional amount shall be used for benefits enrollment coordination activities relating to the identification and enrollment of eligible individuals and families in Federal, State, and local benefit programs: Provided further, That all funds remaining available to a State from this additional amount after application of the previous proviso shall be distributed to eligible entities as defined in section 673(1) of such Act: Provided further, That for services furnished under such Act during fiscal years 2009 and 2010, States may apply the last sentence of section 673(2) of such Act by substituting "200 percent" for "125 percent."
States and local entities that provide services with CSBG funds including migrant and seasonal farm worker organizations (“eligible entities”) are encouraged to focus their efforts on creating sustainable economic resources in communities. States should help to ensure that eligible entities: 1) provide a wide range of innovative employment-related services and activities tailored to the specific needs of their community; 2) use funds in a manner that meets the short-term and long-term economic and employment needs of individuals, families and communities; and 3) make meaningful and measurable progress toward the reform goals of the Recovery Act with special attention to creating and sustaining economic growth and employment opportunities.
Under the CSBG program, eligible entities use funds to provide services and activities addressing employment, education, better use of available income, housing, nutrition, emergency services and/or health to combat the central causes of poverty. Such services continue to be supportable under the CSBG Recovery Act funds.