With the intent of reducing poverty, revitalizing communities and empowering both families and individuals with low incomes who desire to become self-sufficient, the U.S. federal government set up the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). This federal program is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The CSBG provides funds to qualifying communities or entities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Guam. It also provides funds to qualifying entities that are classified as Federally-recognized Tribes, as well as State-recognized Tribes and Tribal organizations which are acting on behalf of eligible Tribes.
This program was established to assist low-income families and individuals with the intent of trying to help them hit the following important personal development benchmarks in order to establish and maintain self-sufficiency:
Adequate housing for their needs
Improved financial management skills
The ability to effectively access emergency assistance programs, such as health services and nutritional assistance
The ability to participate more effectively in community affairs
The removal of obstacles to their self-sufficiency
The program has no specified length of time. This means it runs until funding is gone. As of this writing, the program has already helped sixty-four Tribes and Tribal Organizations with block grants. As of Fiscal Year 2015, the program had already serviced approximately 15.9 million low-income individuals and 6.9 million low-income families. These figures include 2 million individuals with disabilities, 2.3 million seniors and 4.4 million children.
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number for this program is 93.569. The CSBG does not require matching funds, which helps remove an obstacle to qualifying for assistance under the rules of this program. The funding is a non-renewable one time grant.
Tribes who apply for funding under this program are not competing with other entities. Although the current method for determining tribal eligibility is not specific to Alaska Natives or American Indians, they can still apply. Eligible entities also include Federally Recognized Tribes and Tribal Organization as well as Non-Tribal Entities.
This funding is provided in the form of a one time grant that does not have to be paid back. The funding type is classified as discretionary. There is no recurring base funding for tribes.
Applicants to this program must meet the criteria of having either low income or very low income, in accordance with federally established guidelines and definitions. If you wish to apply to the Community Services Block Grant and you also meet the income criteria, your next step is to get in touch with your CSBG Contact person. An updated listing of such contacts can be found at the official website on this page.
Alternately, you may contact the current Branch Chief for the Community Services Block Grant: