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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Lending helping hands

Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

The United Way building located in Brazos Valley holds funds that are allocated to several non profit organizations across the country.

In times of need, nonprofit organizations are always there to lend a hand, and with federal funding this has become more of an option for many Brazos Valley organizations. 

Several counties in the Brazos Valley have been awarded federal funds through the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, Emergency Food and Shelter Program, or EFSP, and the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA-R. Brazos County is set to receive $78,577 through Phase 39 funding and $242,864 through ARPA-R funding, both of which will be allocated to non-profit organizations in the area to help those in need. 

Peggi Goss, vice president of community impact at United Way of Brazos Valley, said the Valley was chosen to receive these funds by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, National Board because of two key statistics: unemployment and poverty rates.

“There is a minimum number of people that have to be unemployed [in the area] to qualify for funding,” Goss said. “Our poverty rate is a little higher than other counties surrounding us, and it’s because college students are not working and are often unemployed.”

Phase 39 is an annual funding arrangement that FEMA sends out to programs across the country. Goss said this year, the organization has included both Phase 39 and ARPA-R, allowing two funds to run at the same time. 


“It’s additional funding, and it’s a lot more funding than what we would normally see in an annual phase,” Goss said. 

Additionally, Goss said it is important to note these funds are for agencies only. To qualify, the organization must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a board of directors that meets at least twice a year.


“The program is designed to support agencies who give rent support, utility support, food support and shelter support,” Goss said. “Even though we say that this money is for agencies, eventually this money gets into the hands of individuals and families through organizations we have as programs.”


Catholic Charities of Central Texas is one of the nonprofit organizations set to receive funds in the Brazos Valley. They offer support in financial stability, counseling, disaster relief, immigration, parenting programs and veteran services. John Paci, director of Catholic Charities, said their goal for these funds is to appropriate them for utility and rent assistance, that way the money can support more people.

“[This] allows case managers to provide the same household with two separate services from two separate funds,” Paci said. 

When it comes to students, Paci said Catholic Charities services are open far and wide, regardless of their background. 

“It doesn’t matter what religion, it doesn’t matter the faith, the race, the ethnicity, it does not matter to us,” Paci said. “What we want to do is help those that are struggling.”

Another way college students can receive financial support and knowledge is by calling 211, Goss said. 211 is a confidential 24-hour line powered by experts to help community members obtain local resources and services. By calling this line, community members can gain access to referrals all around their county. 

“If you wait until your rent is four months past due and you’re being evicted, it’s a lot harder to get help quickly,” Goss said. “If you see yourself spiraling, that’s when you need to reach out.”

Students seeking financial assistance can visit the Catholic Charitieswebsite or any otherUnited Way partnerwebsite for more information. 

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