FEMA Recovery Grants
Update on 7/1/20
United Methodist churches and Hope Centers are eligible to apply for Public Assistance (PA) money from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for expenses related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Among the potential costs that could be covered by FEMA’s PA program are those for:
- Cleaning services, equipment, and supplies.
- PPE (personal protective equipment).
- Food distributed to the community.
- Furnishings or property renovation made necessary by the pandemic (e.g., replacing pews with chairs or replacing large tables with smaller tables for social distancing).
Applications should consider the following:
- The applicant will need to prove that the costs are attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The funding is for reimbursement only, so a church or Hope Center would have to spend money ahead of time, not knowing whether payment will occur.
- FEMA requires procurement procedures that involve getting bids or estimates from a wide range of potential contractors.
- The funding only covers 75 percent of project costs; however, the 25 percent match can be covered by “soft costs,” including staff and volunteer hours.
Churches or Hope Centers interested in pursuing FEMA PA funding should do the following:
- Contact their state Office of Emergency Management, requesting to be considered for FEMA PA funding.
- The state Office of Emergency Management will respond with instructions for registering at a FEMA grants portal.
- Follow instructions provided by the state Office of Emergency Management.
Resources: A guide describing FEMA PA grants has been authored by the accounting firm BDO Seidman.