Emergency Solutions Grants Program

The Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program, formerly the Emergency Shelter Grants Program, is a competitive grant that awards funds to private nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and counties to provide the services necessary to help persons that are at-risk of homelessness or homeless quickly regain stability in permanent housing. The ESG program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


The ESG program provides funding to:

  • Engage homeless individuals and families living on the street
  • Help operate these shelters
  • Improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families
  • Prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless
  • Provide essential services to shelter residents
  • Rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families

Project & Activity Qualifications

To qualify for ESG funding, proposed projects and activities must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Principally aid in the reduction of homeless activities for persons that are homeless or are at “risk” of becoming homeless.

Activity Eligibility

ESG Program rules and regulations specify eligible activities.

Street Outreach

Essential Services

Essential services are related to reaching out to unsheltered homeless individuals and families, connecting them with emergency shelter, housing, or critical services, and providing them with urgent, non-facility-based care.

Eligible Costs

  • Case Management
  • Emergency Health and Mental Health Services
  • Engagement
  • Services for Special Populations
  • Transportation

Emergency Shelter

Emergency Shelter entails renovation, including major rehabilitation or conversion, of a building to serve as an emergency shelter. The emergency shelter must be owned by a government entity or private nonprofit organization. The shelter must serve homeless persons for at least 3 or 10 years, depending on the type of renovation and the value of the building.

Note: Property acquisition and new construction are ineligible ESG activities.

Essential Services

  • Case Management
  • Child Care
  • Education Services
  • Employment Assistance and Job Training
  • Outpatient Health Services
  • Legal Services
  • Life Skills Training
  • Mental Health Services
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Services
  • Transportation
  • Services for Special Populations

Shelter Operations

  • Equipment
  • Food
  • Fuel
  • Furnishings
  • Insurance
  • Maintenance
  • Rent
  • Repair
  • Security
  • Supplies necessary for the operation of the emergency shelter
  • Utilities

Eligible Costs

Where no appropriate emergency shelter is available for a homeless family or individual, eligible costs may also include a hotel or motel voucher for that family or individual.

Homelessness Prevention

Homelessness Prevention entails housing relocation and stabilization services and short-and/or medium-term rental assistance as necessary to prevent the individual or family from moving to an emergency shelter, a place not meant for human habitation, or another place described in paragraph (1) of the homeless definition. The costs of homelessness prevention are only eligible to the extent that the assistance is necessary to help the program participant regain stability in their current housing or move into other permanent housing and achieve stability in that housing.

Eligible Costs

  • Financial Assistance
    • Credit Repair
    • Housing Search and Placement
    • Housing Stability Case Management
    • Landlord-Tenant Mediation
    • Last Month’s Rent
    • Moving Cost
    • Rental Application Fees
    • Security and Utility Deposits
    • Tenant Legal Services
    • Utility Payments
  • Rental Assistance
    • Rental Assistance and Rental Arrears