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108th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE                          
 2d Session                                                     108-308
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 636


                 EMERGENCY FOOD AND SHELTER ACT OF 2004

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

         COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                S. 2249

TO AMEND THE STEWART B. MCKINNEY HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT TO PROVIDE FOR 
                       EMERGENCY FOOD AND SHELTER




                 July 15, 2004.--Ordered to be printed
                   COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                   SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine, Chairman
TED STEVENS, Alaska                  JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut
GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio            CARL LEVIN, Michigan
NORM COLEMAN, Minnesota              DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii
ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania          RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois
ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah              THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
PETER G. FITZGERALD, Illinois        MARK DAYTON, Minnesota
JOHN E. SUNUNU, New Hampshire        FRANK LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
RICHARD C. SHELBY, Alabama           MARK PRYOR, Arkansas

           Michael D. Bopp, Staff Director and Chief Counsel
              Tim Raducha-Grace, Professional Staff Member
      Joyce A. Rechtschaffen, Minority Staff Director and Counsel
                    Kevin J. Landy, Minority Counsel
                      Amy B. Newhouse, Chief Clerk
                                                       Calendar No. 636
108th Congress
                                 SENATE
                                                                 Report
 2d Session                                                     108-308

======================================================================



 
                 EMERGENCY FOOD AND SHELTER ACT OF 2004

                                _______
                                

                 July 15, 2004.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Ms. Collins, from the Committee on Governmental Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                                 REPORT

                         [To accompany S. 2249]

    The Committee on Governmental Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (S. 2249) to amend the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless 
Assistance Act to provide for emergency food and shelter, 
having considered the same reports favorably thereon and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background.......................................................1
III. Legislative History..............................................3
 IV. Section-by-Section...............................................4
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
 VI. CBO Cost Estimate................................................4
VII. Changes to Existing Law..........................................6

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee (the Committee) 
approved S.2249, the Emergency Food and Shelter Act of 2004, on 
June 2, 2004. This legislation would reauthorize appropriations 
for the Federal Emergency Management Agencies's (FEMA) 
Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) at $160 million in 
fiscal year 2005, $170 million in fiscal year 2006, and $180 
million for fiscal year 2007.

                             II. Background

    In March 1983, Congress first provided funds for the 
Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (Public Law 
98-8). The legislation provided $50 million for emergency food 
and shelter to FEMA for allocation by a National Board between 
March 1983 and March 1984. Because the need for these emergency 
food and shelter services continued, Congress continued to 
provide funding through the mid 1980s.
    In July 1987, Congress enacted the Stewart B. McKinney 
Homeless Assistance Act (Public Law 100-77) in response to the 
increasing number of homeless individuals and their families. 
The McKinney Act formally authorized a number of assistance 
programs including EFSP to provide shelter and support services 
to the homeless. The Governmental Affairs Committee was granted 
jurisdiction over three of these programs--the Interagency 
Council on the Homeless, the FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter 
program, and the Title V Surplus Real and Personal Property 
program. S. 2249 would reauthorize one of these programs, the 
Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
    The Emergency Food and Shelter Program is governed by a 
National Board, which is chaired by FEMA and includes 
representatives of the United Way of America, the Salvation 
Army, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., 
Catholic Charities U.S.A., the Council of Jewish Federations 
Inc. and the American Red Cross. The National Board is guided 
by five operating principles: speedy administration and 
funding, award to areas of greatest need, local decision-
making, public/private sector cooperation, and minimum but 
accountable reporting. EFSP provides monies for the purchase of 
food and shelter to supplement and extend current available 
resources in order to meet emergency needs.
    By all accounts, EFSP has been very effective in bringing 
together many non-profit groups at the local level. Any area 
designated by the National Board to receive funds has its own 
local board. The structure of the local board mirrors that of 
the National Board. Local boards oversee Local Recipient 
Organizations. EFSP funds are distributed on a formula basis to 
emergency shelters, soup kitchens, and other nonprofit groups 
in counties in every state. The volunteer participation by 
these charitable organizations has kept administrative costs to 
less than three percent of the total program, making even more 
funds directly available for communities. Each non-profit 
organization essentially raises its own separate funds for 
administration.
    Once local boards in counties and municipalities across 
America receive the funding, these local organizations decide 
how to address the emergency food and shelter needs of their 
residents. Because the local boards are composed of individuals 
and members of organizations who live and work in the 
communities they serve, they can best decide how to meet the 
needs of those who are at risk of becoming homeless within 
those communities.
    Depending on the decisions of the local boards, program 
funds are used to provide food, in the form of served meals or 
groceries; lodging in a mass shelter or hotel; one month's rent 
or mortgage payment; one month's utility bill; minimal repairs 
to allow a shelter or soup kitchen to function; or equipment 
necessary to feed or shelter people, up to a $300 limit per 
item. The diversity in how communities spend their funds 
highlights the importance of allowing local boards to allocate 
these resources in a manner tailored to local needs.
    Communities in Maine's Cumberland and Franklin Counties, 
for example, have used most of these funds to supplement the 
efforts of local soup kitchens, Meals-on-Wheels programs, and 
food pantries. The Wayside Soup Kitchen in Portland, Maine uses 
this funding to supplement its efforts to provide three 
separate food assistance programs to those in need. Communities 
in northern Maine's Aroostook County chose to use more than 30 
percent of their 2003 funding to address emergency shelter and 
housing needs.
    Local boards in Connecticut also distributed EFSP funds to 
a variety of organizations serving many needs across the state. 
A significant portion of the state's funding went to address 
the needs of Connecticut's urban poor. Recipient non-profits in 
Bridgeport used the funds to help pay for food pantries, 
homeless shelters, and to cover emergency rent payments. In 
Hartford, most of the funding was directed to shelters, and in 
New Haven the money was allocated broadly across categories. In 
comparison, many of Connecticut's smaller towns used the funds 
primarily for food and rent assistance.
    The Emergency Food and Shelter Program helps individuals 
maintain their dignity during difficult times. It also prevents 
dependency by providing emergency services to individuals and 
families on a limited basis so that they can remain self-
sufficient. Few other programs focus on preventing 
homelessness. A 1999 General Accounting Office report titled 
``Homelessness: Coordination and Evaluation of Programs are 
essential'' (GAO-RCED-99-49) concluded, for example, ``in most 
areas of the United States, the Emergency Food and Shelter 
Program is the only source of funding for the prevention of 
homelessness.''
    While EFSP was originally intended to the meet emergency 
food and shelter needs of the early 1980s, the emergency has 
persisted. According to a U.S. Conference of Mayors study, 
``Hunger and Homelessness in America's Cities,'' \1\ requests 
for emergency food assistance and emergency shelter each 
increased by an average of 19 percent during 2002. Of those 
emergency food requests, the study estimated that 16 percent 
went unmet. The study also found that 48 percent of the people 
requesting emergency food and shelter were members of 
families--children and their parents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ The United States Conference of Mayors, Hunger and Homelessness 
Survey, pp. i-iii, December 2003.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Because of this ongoing need, the Committee approved the 
re-authorization of EFSP to enable communities nationwide to 
provide services to help individuals who are at risk of 
becoming homeless or going hungry due to an emergency or 
economic disaster.

                        III. Legislative History

    S. 2249 was introduced on March 29, 2004 by Senator Susan 
Collins and Senator Joseph Lieberman and was referred to the 
Committee on Governmental Affairs. Additional co-sponsors 
include Senator Daniel Akaka, Senator Carl Levin, Senator Mark 
Dayton, Senator Richard Durbin, Senator George Voinovich, 
Senator Frank Lautenberg, and Senator Norm Coleman. The Senate 
Governmental Affairs Committee met on June 2, 2004 and by voice 
vote approved S. 2249 without amendment. Senators present: 
Voinovich, Bennett, Fitzgerald, Lieberman, Levin, Akaka, 
Carper, Lautenberg, and Collins.

                         IV. Section-by-Section

    Section 1 states the title of S. 2249 as the ``Emergency 
Food and Shelter Act of 2004.''
    Section 2 would amend Section 322 of the Stewart B. 
McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11352) to authorize 
$160 million in fiscal year 2005, $170 million in fiscal year 
2006, and $180 million in fiscal year 2007 for carrying out the 
Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
    Section 3 would amend Section 301 of the Stewart B. 
McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11331(b)) to make a 
technical change to the membership of the National Board that 
governs EFSP. Specifically, it would replace Council of Jewish 
Federation with United Jewish Communities. This change reflects 
the merger of the Council of Jewish Federation, United Israel 
Appeal, and United Jewish Appeal.
    Section 4 would amend Section 316(a) of the Stewart B. 
McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11346(a)) to make a 
technical change to the membership of the local board. 
Specifically, Section 4 would direct the National Board to 
issue guidelines requiring each local board to include in their 
membership not less than one homeless individual, former 
homeless individual, homeless advocate, or recipient of food or 
shelter services, except that such guidelines may waive such 
requirement for any board unable to meet such requirement if 
the board otherwise consults with homeless individuals, former 
homeless individuals, homeless advocates, or recipients of food 
or shelter services.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill. CBO states that 
there are no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and no costs on 
State, local, or tribal governments. The legislation contains 
no other regulatory impact.

                         VI. CBO Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 14, 2004.
Hon. Susan M. Collins,
Chairman, Committee on Governmental Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2249, a bill to 
amend the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act to 
provide for emergency food and shelter.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Kathleen 
FitzGerald.
            Sincerely,
                                      Elizabeth M. Robinson
                               (For Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director).
    Enclosure.

S. 2249--A bill to amend the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance 
        Act to provide for emergency food and shelter

    Summary: S. 2249 would authorize appropriations for the 
Emergency Food and Shelter Program. The bill also would change 
the name of one of the organizations on the national board of 
the program and provide for the inclusion of homeless advocates 
or food and shelter recipients on local boards.
    The bill would authorize the appropriation of $510 million 
over the 2005-2007 period. CBO estimates that appropriation of 
those amounts would result in outlays of $510 million over that 
same period. Enacting S. 2249 would not affect direct spending 
or revenues.
    S. 2249 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 2249 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 600 
(income security).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Emergency food and shelter spending under current law:
    Budget authority \1\..................................      152        0        0        0        0        0
    Estimated outlays.....................................      152        0        0        0        0        0
Proposed changes:
    Authorization level...................................        0      160      170      180        0        0
    Estimated outlays.....................................        0      160      170      180        0        0
Emergency food and shelter spending under S. 2249:
    Authorization level \1\...............................      152      160      170      180        0        0
    Estimated outlays.....................................      152      160      170      180        0        0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2004 level is the amount appropriated for that year for the program.

    Basis of estimate: Section 2 would authorize the 
appropriation of $160 million for fiscal year 2005, $170 
million for 2006, and $180 million for 2007 for the Emergency 
Food and Shelter Program. The authorization of appropriations 
for this program expired in 1994 but it has continued to 
receive funding through annual appropriation acts. In 2004, 
$152 million was appropriated for this program. CBO estimates 
that implementing this bill would result in $510 million in 
outlays over the 2005-2007 period. Over the past several years, 
all funds appropriated for this program have been spent in the 
year that they were provided.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 2249 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Kathleen FitzGerald. 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Leo Lex. Impact 
on the Private Sector: Samuel Kina.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      VII. Changes to Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing laws made by 
S. 2249 as reported are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is printed in 
italic, and existing law in which no changes is proposed is 
shown in roman):

                           UNITED STATES CODE

                  TITLE 42--PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE

                    CHAPTER 119--HOUSING ASSISTANCE


 Subchapter III--Federal Emergency Management Food and Shelter Program


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


 SUBCHAPTER III--FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FOOD AND SHELTER PROGRAM


SEC. 11331(B). MEMBERS.

    [(5) The Council of Jewish Federations, Inc.]
    (5) United Jewish Communities.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 11346. PROGRAM GUIDELINES.

    [(6) guidelines requiring each private nonprofit 
organization and local government carrying out a local 
emergency food and shelter program with amounts provided under 
this part to provide for the participation of not less than 1 
homeless individual or former homeless individual on the board 
of directors or other equivalent policy making entity of the 
organization or governmental agency to the extent that such 
entity considers and makes policies and decisions regarding the 
local program of the organization or locality; except that such 
guidelines may grant waivers to applicants unable to meet such 
requirement if the organization or government agrees to 
otherwise consult with homeless or formerly homeless 
individuals in considering and making such policies and 
decisions.]
    (6) guidelines requiring each local board to include in 
their membership not less than 1 homeless individual, former 
homeless individual, homeless advocate, or recipient of food or 
shelter services, except that such guidelines may waive such 
requirement for any board unable to meet such requirement if 
the board otherwise consults with homeless individuals, former 
homeless individuals, homeless advocates, or recipients of food 
or shelter services.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 11352. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    [There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this 
subchapter $180,000,000 for fiscal year 1993 and $187,560,000 
for fiscal year 1994.]
    There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this 
title $160,000,000 for fiscal year 2005, $170,000,000 for 
fiscal year 2006, and $180,000,000 for fiscal year 2007.