Community Services Block Grant – CARES


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The $2 trillion economic relief package aims to protect the American people from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19. The CARES act authorized an additional $42 million dollars to be allocated to supplement the Community Services Block Grant program in Pennsylvania.

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) is authorized by the Community Opportunities, Accountability, and Training Educational Services Human Serves Reauthorization Act of 1998, Public Law 105-285, October 27, 1998 (42 USCS §9901 et. seq.), and the act of July 2, 2014 (P.L. 834, No. 90) known as the Community Services Block Grant Act, as a state-administered anti-poverty block grant that funds the operations of a network of certified CSBG eligible entities (CEE) including Community Action Agencies (CAA) and local government entities. The goal of these local agencies is to ameliorate the causes and conditions of poverty. The national CSBG network consists of more than 1,000 agencies that create, coordinate, and deliver programs and services to low-income Americans in 99 percent of the nation’s counties


Currently, Pennsylvania has 43 designated agencies (42 Community Action Agencies, and 1 Limited Purpose Agency) that receive CSBG funding to provide services for all 64 counties. At this time, Pennsylvania is not seeking to designate new CEEs. Individuals are not eligible to apply for CSBG funding, CSBG CARES funding, or become a CEE. Individuals who are seeking services funded by CSBG should contact the CEE in their county.


CEEs choose investments targeted to the specific needs of its local community and use the CSBG funds in conjunction with other federal, state, local, and private funding streams. While there is no prescribed CSBG program, the Office of Community Services defines the purpose of CARES Act CSBG Supplemental funds are “To help prevent, prepare, and respond to COVID-19 and it’s impacts.”

How to Apply

At this time, Pennsylvania is not accepting applications from agencies outside the 43 that are currently receiving CSBG funding.


Appendix A. CSBG Agency List

Additional Information

Pennsylvania CSBG CARES Act Supplemental State Plan

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