Emergency Services

Helping people in times of crisis.

The National Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP)
was created by Congress in 1983 to help social service agencies provide emergency relief to those in need. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chairs the National Board, and United Way Worldwide is the fiscal agent and staff for the program.

United Way Bay Area supports the program locally:

We have distributed
$61 million throughout our community since EFSP's inception.

These funds are used to help struggling Bay Area residents access basic needs, including food, shelter, rent/mortgage payments, and utilities bill assistance.

Last year, $1.8 million was distributed, providing low-income individuals and families in the Bay Area with:


Interested in applying for EFSP funds?


Tax-exempt, nonprofit, or local government entities seeking EFSP funds to be used in the Bay Area should review the general information documents below. Requests for proposals are issued annually—with timelines varying by county—so proposals, applications, and forms will be uploaded as they become available.


Sign-up to be added to the mailing list of proposal notification.
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General Information and Forms


How to Request a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) Number (PDF)

Local Recipient Organization (LRO) Certification Form SAMPLE (PDF)

LRO Responsibilities (PDF)

LRO Program Costs & Requirements (PDF)



EFSP Applications & Materials

Marin County (zip) San Francisco County (zip)

Emergency Assistance Network (EAN)
Everyone experiences emergencies from time to time. For some Silicon Valley residents, however, each day is a struggle for financial stability and independence. When an emergency hits, they need somewhere to turn for help. EAN is a United Way Bay Area collaboration with seven local Santa Clara County partner agencies. This collaborative offers assistance to help families and individuals recover from emergency situations by providing food assistance, rent and mortgage aid, utility assistance and medical and transportation aid, often providing case management and financial education.

Silicon Valley

Veteran Gets Back on His Feet Thanks to the EFSP


David and his son Steven risked it all to come to California for the medical care this Navy veteran so desperately needed; they ended up on the streets. Here’s how it all turned around.

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