Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)

ESG Overview 

The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act) amended the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, including major revisions to the Emergency Shelter Grants program, now called the Emergency Solutions Grants program and is federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program is designed to identify sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons, as well as those at risk of homelessness, and provide the services necessary to help those persons quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness.

ESG Funding

The program is also intended to lower the increase of homelessness through the funding of preventive programs and services. Eligible applicants include units of local government or private, nonprofit organizations that receive approval by an appropriate unit of local government.

The ESG Program provides funds to:

  • Provide essential services to shelter residents.
  • Rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families.
  • Prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless.

ESG Program funds may be used for one or more of the five program components:

  • Street Outreach
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Homelessness Prevention
  • Rapid Re-Housing
  • Homeless Management Information System

Funding Eligibility 

Eligible applicants include units of local governments and non-profits. ESG funds may be used for any of the five program components: street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing assistance, and HMIS; as well as administrative activities. 

For more information, please visit the HUD Homelessness Assistance website. 

Apply for Funding

On an annual basis, Bexar County releases a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for use of the grant funds. These funds are available to eligible non-profit organizations and local participating cities to assist the County in its mission to provide services to low-income residents. These services could be in the form of social and homeless services, affordable housing opportunities, or capital improvement projects.

Get Help or Access to Housing



The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020 (CARES Act) provided for a supplemental appropriation of Emergency Solutions Grant funds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the spread of COVID-19 among individuals and families who are homeless or receiving homeless assistance, and to support homelessness prevention activities to mitigate the impacts of the public health crisis.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Bexar County received $2,556,746 in supplemental Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) funds “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness:

Federal Allocations - Emergency Solutions Grant – Coronavirus (ESG-CV)
ESG-CV (First Tranche)$696,845.00
ESG-CV (Second Tranche)$1,859,901.00

On May 29, 2020, Bexar County, the City of San Antonio (COSA), and the South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH) undertook a joint funding competition for the ESG-CV funds. 

On June 17, 2020, an Independent Review Team comprised of representatives from Bexar County, COSA, SARAH, United Way, and a formerly homeless community member evaluated ESG-CV applications.

The following projects were approved at Commissioners Court on September 15, 2020:

Grant SubrecipientProjectApproved Amount
Bexar CountyProgram Administration$160,871
Haven for HopeHMIS, Shelter Operations, Administration$545,750
SAMMinistriesHomeless Prevention$400,000
Salvation ArmyHomeless Prevention, Shelter Operations, Shelter Renovations$1,450,125