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COUNTYWIDE : $454,597 Received for Food, Shelter

Ventura County will receive $454,597 in federal emergency money for food and shelter this year, a $50,830 increase over last year, a United Way spokeswoman said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency grant is based on the county’s unemployment rate, which hit a five-year high of 7.8% in September; population density and plant closings, said Beverly Viola of United Way, which allocates the money.

The county’s FEMA award ranks 10th in the state’s 58 counties, with Los Angeles County at the top with a $5.66-million grant.

Of the $134 million being distributed nationwide, California will receive $18.13 million, almost twice as much as any other state. Only New York and Texas came close, garnering $9.48 million and $9.28 million, respectively.

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On Thursday, the FEMA board and the Ventura County Homeless Coalition will hold a meeting to explain the application process to local agencies that provide food and shelter throughout the county. Applications are due by Dec. 12, and the board will determine how much each applicant will receive at its Dec. 19 meeting.

Of the 20 local agencies that received funds last year, Zoe Christian Center received the largest sum of $100,000, Food Share got $81,500, Catholic Charities $76,216, Rainbow Recovery $21,000, Interface: Children, Family Services of Ventura County $14,000 and Project Understanding $11,900.

The funds are to be used to supplement existing programs, Viola said.


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