NASHVILLE — Gov. Phil Bredesen announced Tuesday afternoon the approval of $19.5 million in federal stimulus funding for Tennessee to help low income citizens weather these tough economic times.
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, including more than $1.4 million for the Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency that covers Rutherford County, 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,” Bredesen said. “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,” DHS Commissioner Gina Lodge said. “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.
Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency can be contacted by mail at 233 Legend Drive, Suite 103, P. O. Box 310 Lebanon, Tennessee 37088-0310, by phone (615) 742-1113 or 1137, or on the Web at www.mid-cumberlandcaa.com.