The Emergency Shelter Grants program was revised by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act) and renamed the Emergency Solution Grants to reflect the program’s focus from addressing the needs of homeless people in emergency or transitional shelters to assisting people to quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness. The Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program builds upon the existing Emergency Shelter Grant program, with the expansion of the homelessness prevention component of the program and the addition of a new rapid re-housing assistance component. ESG funds can be used for five program components (street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing assistance and HMIS) and administrative costs.
Grantees, which are state governments, large cities, urban counties, and U.S. territories, receive ESG grants and make these funds available to eligible recipients, which can be either local government agencies or private nonprofit organizations. The recipient agencies and organizations, which actually run the homeless assistance projects, apply for ESG funds to the governmental grantee, and not directly to HUD.