May 15, 2024

Wyden, Colleagues Call to Provide At Least $3 Billion for Shelter and Services Program in FY 25

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and his colleagues today called on Senate Appropriations Committee leadership to provide no less than $3 billion in FY 2025 funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Shelter and Services Program for humanitarian assistance funding. 

That funding supports state, local, and nonprofit service providers who assist the federal government by providing critical services for asylum seekers released from government custody to continue their immigration cases.

The senators also urged appropriators to include language that would help increase transparency and fairness while making the program more accessible to new recipients who assist asylees, but who were not previously eligible to receive allocations under the program or its predecessor, the  Emergency Food and Shelter-Humanitarian program. 

The senators also asked appropriators to direct FEMA to publicly release its allocation methodology and work closely with Shelter and Services Program recipients to ensure that Shelter and Services Program funding is received in a timely manner. 

“In light of federal capacity constraints, the federal government relies on local nonprofit and governmental social service organizations, as well as states and localities, to provide shelter, food, transportation, and support services to asylum seekers arriving at our southern border,” the senators wrote. “Communities and organizations are on the frontlines of assisting migrants, and resources are being stretched thin as these entities perform federal government functions. This funding remains vitally important as more cities in the United States receive asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants.”

“Given that the federal government has asked states, localities, and nonprofits to perform an essential governmental function, Congress must reaffirm its commitment to these states, localities, and nonprofits by providing significant funding for SSP and by working to ensure that funds are allocated and disbursed to recipients in a transparent and timely manner,” the senators wrote.

In addition to Wyden, the letter is signed by U.S. Senators Alex Padilla, D- Calif., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Laphonza Butler, D-Calif., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawai’i, Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Angus S. King, Jr., I-Maine, Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Peter Welch, D-Vt.

The letter text is here.