FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2006
GOVERNOR BARBOUR ANNOUNCES $86.3M OF SOCIAL SERVICES BLOCK GRANT FUNDS FOR STATE AGENCIES
(Jackson, Mississippi) – Governor Haley Barbour today announced the allocation of more than $86 million of social services block grant (SSBG) funds to be used primarily by four state agencies to help meet needs of citizens affected by Hurricane Katrina. The four agencies receiving the bulk of the funds are the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and the Department of Mental Health (DMH). Others entities that have made application for funding will be notified by mail.
These funds are part of the more than $128 million Mississippi received through a Supplemental Appropriation Bill for Katrina relief. The bill was approved by Congress, signed by the President of the United States, and appropriated to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. When the funds were appropriated to the state, Governor Haley Barbour designated DHS as the state agency responsible to receive and distribute hurricane monies.
DHS has been awarded $20.6 million to restore social services in the areas of Aging, Child Support Enforcement, Economic Assistance, Family and Children’s Services, and Youth Services. DOH has received $13.4 million to restore special needs shelters, restore a pharmaceutical warehouse, replace district signs along highways on the gulf, and replace emergency response equipment. MDRS has been awarded $9.2 million that will be used to provide interpreters for the hearing impaired, replace damaged equipment including wheelchairs, and restore damaged homes and vehicles with modifications to support the disabled. Finally, DMH has received $9.9 million to restore services to Adult and Children Day Treatment facilities, provide transportation, and restore work activity centers and other facilities in George, Hancock and Harrison counties.
Though the funds are primarily to be used by the previous four agencies, other state agencies will be considered if funding is available. Self sufficiency, protection, maintenance and miscellaneous needs are the four broad categories that govern all service activities supported by SSBG funds. Only services existing prior to August 29, 2005 are eligible for restoration, and proposals will only be accepted to restore services or activities to pre-Katrina condition. Additional funds are still available for award. Funds must be expended by April 30, 2007 and liquidated by September 30, 2007. For more information, please call 601-359-4778 or go to http://www.mdhs.state.ms.us/rfp2.htm for an application.