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Program Overview

The Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG) provides federal funds to designated local governments and nonprofit agencies called community action agencies, also known as local agency providers, to assist eligible income-qualified households with attaining the skills, knowledge and motivation necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. The agencies may provide a variety of antipoverty services such as emergency health, food, housing, day care, transportation assistance; housing counseling; financial management assistance; nutrition programs including federal surplus food distribution, community gardening projects, food banks, job counseling, placement and training services and homeless prevention programs.

Ninety percent of the CSBG program funds are allocated to the state's existing network of community action agencies. This is a formula-based grant and is not competitive.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is the state administrator for CSBG and DEO's roles include:

  • Applying for funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Distributing funding in the form of grants to local agency providers, which are either nonprofit agencies or local governments;
  • Monitoring local agency providers to ensure that they administer the funding in compliance with state and federal laws and rules; and
  • Providing technical assistance to local agency providers to help them comply with state and federal requirements.

The Department of Economic Opportunity cannot:

  • Provide funds or direct assistance to citizens;
  • Accept applications;
  • Help citizens apply for assistance;
  • Help citizens schedule an appointment with a local agency provider; nor
  • Determine eligibility.

Household Income Limits

Client households must meet 200% of the United States Department of Health and Human Services' low-income poverty guidelines and allowable and unallowable sources of income. The local CSBG agency will help you determine what is included as income.

Household Income Limits By Household Size
Household Size Maximum Monthly Income  Maximum Annual
Income
Family of 1 $2,127 $25,520
Family of 2  $2,873 $34,480
Family of 3  $3,620 $43,440
Family of 4  $4,367 $52,400
Family of 5  $5,113 $61,360
Family of 6  $5,860 $70,320
Family of 7 $6,607 $79,280
Family of 8  $7,353 $88,240
For each additional person in the household with more than 8 people, add:   $8,960

Community Services Block Grant - CARES Act

The CARES Act appropriated $1 billion in supplemental FY 2020 CSBG funds. Administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the funds are intended to address the consequences of increasing unemployment and economic disruption as a result of COVID-19. Florida's proportionate share of this funding is $29 million, of which at least 90% must be distributed directly to Community Action Agencies (CAAs). States may retain 10% in discretionary funding and up to 5% of which may be used for the state's own administrative costs. Unlike regular Fiscal Year 2020 CSBG funding, CAAs may carry over any unused supplemental CSBG funding into the next two fiscal years (i.e. through the end of Fiscal Year 2022).

CARES Act CSBG supplemental funds will provide various services and activities to assist the needs of low-income individuals including the homeless, migrants and the elderly.

Community Services Block Grant - Disaster Relief Supplemental Funds for Hurricane Michael Impacted Areas

The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2019 was signed on June 6, 2019, for CSBG - Disaster Relief Supplemental Funds in the amount of approximately $25 million to be awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Community Services to assist with "necessary expenses directly related to the consequences" of presidentially-declared disasters in 2018 and 2019.

A total of $6.4 million of these funds have been allocated to Florida and will be administered by the DEO's Division of Community Development. This supplemental funding is intended to provide community services to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Michael in the following 12 counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington.

Required Documentation to Apply

  • Proof of income (paycheck stubs, award letters from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability);
  • Photo identification of the applicant and other household members or any document that establishes identity will be accepted;
  • Social security cards of all household members; and
  • Rental / Mortgage agreement if requesting rent/mortgage assistance.

How to Receive an Application and How to Apply for Assistance

  1. You may apply online through your local CSBG provider (see Find Your Community Services Block Grant Program Provider For Help) or through the local CSBG provider’s website. You must apply through the appropriate agency for the county in which you live. Look under your county for the name and phone number of that agency. Check to see if there as an online application that you can complete so that you can submit your application without needing to visit the office location. A PDF application may be made available by the agency for you to begin the application. If an online application is not available, please contact the local office for the preferred method of receiving either PDF or paper applications, along with supporting documentation.
  2. Call your local CSBG provider. These agencies employ caseworkers who are knowledgeable about various programs and who specialize in providing guidance and assistance to citizens. Please be aware that the phone number may be busy:
    • All local agencies are receiving very high volumes of calls for assistance and are working through the calls as quickly as possible.
    • Please be patient and keep trying to contact the local agency.
    • Please be aware that many local agencies take calls only during specific hours of operation.
  3. To manage the high number of requests for help, most local CSBG agencies require that you make an appointment with them. An agency staff person will help you complete the application.
  4. The local agency receives applications, determines if you are eligible, and makes payments directly to rental or mortgage companies on your behalf.

Related Links

The following related linked sites are external to the department's web site and will open in a new browser window. The department does not attest to the accuracy of the information presented nor does the department endorse the site and the products presented.

Looking for Assistance?

Apply online or contact your local provider to apply.

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