Members of the Henry County Emergency Food and Shelter Committee voted unanimously to accept an award of $12,915 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Food and Shelter program Thursday in a meeting at the courthouse.

An additional $18,413 award is available as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, but only if the county uses the initial award and shows a need for further assistance, according to Henry County Mayor Brent Greer.

“Historically, what we’ve used these funds for is for rent and mortgage assistance and utility assistance for people who are in need through the Northwest Tennessee Human Resources Agency,” Greer said.

The agency usually restricts assistance to once a year for each individual, with the reasoning that the agency can spread the help out to more people that way.

Individuals needing assistance can fill out an application at the county Office on Aging at the Central Community Service Center or can get more information by calling 642-2919. Additionally, people can call the United Way’s 211 hotline to learn about different resources and assistance available in Henry County.

The awards are part of a $5.7 million award earmarked for Tennessee by FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter program, and include the regular annual allotment and additional funds from the CARES act.

“The funding supports local organizations helping Tennessee’s … homeless during the coronavirus pandemic and other disasters.,” Gracia Szczech, FEMA regional administrator, said.

The committee noted the extra money in the award is because of the additional funds from the CARES Act and doesn’t anticipate receiving the same allotment next year. The regular allotment was $13,905 in 2019. Two percent of the award goes to the Northwest Tennessee agency as an administrative fee, as regulated by the instructions from the award.

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