The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) is funded under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. CSBG is designed to provide a range of services to assist low-income families and individuals attain the skills, knowledge, and motivation necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. CSBG funds services and activities that have a measurable impact on the causes and conditions of poverty in local communities across the state.
CSBG is a federally funded investment that aims to reduce poverty in the United States. CSBG is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services. CSD is designated by the Governor as the state agency responsible for administering the CSBG program in California. There are currently 60 private nonprofit and local government organizations across California (referred to as eligible entities) receiving CSBG funds. This network of eligible entities continues to administer programs that assist low-income individuals and families with attaining the skills, knowledge, and motivation necessary to achieve self-sufficiency.
The services offered through CSBG vary by county. Some examples of the services offered include the following:
CSBG eligible entities have established partnerships and collaborate with local community organizations, service providers and public and private agencies to assure the effective delivery of services to the low-income population. CSBG eligible entities improve local services by linking low-income Californians to available resources through direct services, and by establishing formal and informal agreements through contractual relationships with subcontractors and referrals to community partners.CSBG eligible entities apply and evaluate community assessment data to identify gaps in services and opportunities. They then develop strategies to resolve the identified gaps and enhance current programs. As such, the practice of cross-referring clients is common, as staff participates on local area commissions and share information about respective services and gaps in services.
Eligibility for services may vary depending on sources of income and other factors. Please contact your local community services agency to determine your eligibility.
View CSBG Income Eligibility Guidelines
In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted by Congress “to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.” As part of this effort, $89 million was allocated to California in supplemental Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding to help prevent, prepare for, or respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The funding allocated under the CARES Act supplements the annual CSBG grant which totaled $64 million for Federal Fiscal Year 2019-2020.
Funding from the CARES Act has been distributed to California’s statewide network of 60 local CSBG eligible entities. These private nonprofit and local government organizations are utilizing CARES Act funds to supplement ongoing efforts to increase economic security for low-income Californians, while meeting immediate needs for housing, employment, food, emergency supplies, and other activities and services.
Consistent with program flexibilities allowed under the CARES Act, on August 24, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-75-20 to increase income eligibility levels for CSBG to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level for the duration of the State of Emergency that began March 2, 2020.
"The spirit of Community Action can be that
needed inspiration when tragedy strikes and when it seems that no end is in
sight.” -Tom Tenorio, CEO of the Community Action Agency of Butte County.
On November 8, 2018 the Camp Fire became the most destructive wildfire in California state history, and the deadliest disaster in the United States within the last 100 years. Approximately 93% of the town of Paradise and much of the surrounding community was destroyed. Worst of all, 85 residents tragically lost their lives to the fire. Many Community Action Agency of Butte County, Inc. (CAA) staff members lost their homes, and yet they still report to work every day to help uplift the entire community.
Within hours of the fire, CAA in partnership with CSD jumped into action. Approved use of CSBG discretionary funding and emergency energy crisis intervention funds enabled the CAA to serve survivors of the fire with shelter, gift-cards to pay for critical expenses, and direct payment to lodging vendors for displaced families. CAA's North State Food Bank (NSFB) also immediately began providing nutritious food and supplies to evacuation centers and impromptu shelters that popped up due to the sheer magnitude of people fleeing the fire. After soliciting new and regular food donors for additional donations, an outpouring of support came quickly, and a new partnership was established with the Grassroots Alliance, a private non-profit experienced in providing support to communities met by disaster. This partnership brought generous corporate donations to help support the growing need for assistance. Two weeks after the fire, the food bank established a weekly Tailgate food giveaway, targeting locals affected by the fire. Within the first several months after the disaster, over 700,000 pounds of food were delivered to those in need.
CSBG funding uniquely equips CAA's to provide services tailored to the needs of our communities. The CAA of Butte County now focuses on support and assistance through comprehensive case management to help people to develop and execute a plan for the road ahead. With help from the local CAA team, the supportive staff at CSD, and an outpouring of community support, Butte County and the city of Paradise continue to witness the true commitment of people living the Promise of Community Action.