More than 167,000 unemployed low-income people obtained jobs, nearly 200,000 people with low-incomes landed in safe and affordable housing, and more than 1.5 million low-income people got food assistance. Non-profits around the country helped these people achieve goals and get help, thanks to the national Community Services Block Grant program.

Millions of people get help every year from agencies funded by the CSBG program. So what is it, and how does it work and help in Utah?


What’s CSBG?

Every year Congress awards CSBG money to states based on a statutory formula. The states then distribute the grants to a network of local agencies. The agencies must use the money toward six goals:

  • Improve conditions in which low-income people live.
  • Help low-income people become more self-sufficient.
  • Achieve partnerships between supporters and providers of services to low-income people.
  • Help low-income people own a stake in their community.
  • Increase agencies’ capacity to achieve results.
  • Assist low-income people, especially vulnerable populations, to achieve their potential by strengthening family and other supportive environments.

The CSBG network includes 1,005 public or private Community Action Agencies. In Federal Fiscal Year 2016 (the latest numbers available), these agencies helped 15.7 million low-income people.


During the 2016 Federal Fiscal Year, the agencies used the grant money to help

  • 191,401 people with low-incomes get safe and affordable housing;
  • 1,585,511 people with low-incomes get food assistance;
  • 46,143 employed people with low-incomes obtain an increase in income and/or benefits;
  • 167,817 unemployed people with low-incomes get a job.

Agencies around the U.S. use CSBG funding every year to fight poverty in their communities.


What happens in Utah?

The CSBG program helps millions of people across the country, including tens of thousands in Utah. In Federal Fiscal Year 2016, nine Community Action Agencies in Utah received more than $3.2 million in funding to help people living in poverty. Of the people they assisted, 43 percent of the families lived in severe poverty—below 50 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

These agencies assisted more than 163,000 people with low incomes, including

  • 26,905 people who don’t have health insurance
  • 13,388 people with disabilities
  • 52,836 children
  • 17,472 seniors


They also helped

  • 38,275 participants with low incomes find supports that reduced or eliminated barriers to family stability;
  • 120,552 individuals and families with low incomes receive emergency assistance;
  • 35,874 low-income households increase their financial assets or financial skills.


But Utah’s Community Action Agencies don’t rely on the CSBG funding to help people pull themselves out of poverty. They combine the money with funding from several other sources. For every $1 of CSBG funding, the nine Utah agencies leveraged $20.71 from local, state, federal, and private sources, which includes the value of volunteer hours.

Using CSBG funding and money from many other sources, the Community Action Agencies in Utah are working to end poverty around the state.

Every year, Community Action Agencies around the U.S. use Community Services Block Grants to help millions of people living in poverty, including tens of thousands of individuals and families in Utah.