What is the SSAFE Fund? 

The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s (UAH) Student, Staff, and Faculty Emergency (SSAFE) Fund was established in 2003 by the former VP of Multicultural Affairs, Delois Smith, her partner, Edward Smith, and Gladys Jones. The SSAFE Fund is a confidential and powerful solution to unpredictable and personal situations. It was created to assist members of the UAH family who face unforeseen, critical, or emergent situations that affect our mental, emotional, or financial well-being. Since its founding, the fund has and continues to help with rent, car payments, utilities, medical expenses, or other non-academic expenses during times of need.

Information for Applicants

To apply for the SSAFE Fund, submit an application using either the PDF or online form. In-person or paper applications can be sent to the SSAFE Fund Coordinator in the VP’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (SSB, room 320). Once the application form and all supporting documents are received, the SSAFE Fund Coordinator will send the application to the SSAFE Fund committee for review. The committee will anonymously review the application and make a determination. If the application is approved, the coordinator will work with the appropriate departments in order to send the assistance funds directly to the merchant. 

Apply Today 

Opportunity for Support

The SSAFE Fund was started by those who were helped by the generosity of others and were moved to extend that support to their UAH family. Today, it is funded by individual donors across UAH’s campus and the Huntsville community at large. If you are able, please consider making a gift to the SSAFE Fund. Contributions are tax-deductible and can be made online via credit card or payroll deduction. 


Make a gift today and help keep our UAH family SSAFE!


Frequently Asked Questions

Members of the UAH community are eligible, including currently enrolled students or currently employed staff and faculty members. In the case of a faculty or staff application, the applicant’s current status will be verified with Human Resources. If the applicant is a student, their status will be verified by the Registrar’s office.

Unexpected, unforeseen, and unavoidable non-academic emergencies such as past-due rent payment, vehicle payment or repairs, past-due utilities or phone bills, and emergency medical expenses.

Non-eligible expenses include but are not limited to: Recurring or previously paid expenses Food/groceries or gas for vehicles Tuition/fees

This depends on the nature of the expense. Typically, documentation includes rental agreements or mortgage statements, monthly account statements, past-due notices, etc. The merchant’s tax ID number may be needed as well. All expense requests MUST have the applicant listed on the account.

There are opportunities to upload documents if you are using the online application. If you are using the PDF version or applying in person, copies must be submitted to the SSAFE Fund Coordinator. You can contact the SSAFE Fund Coordinator at 256.824.4600 or Charise.Watson@uah.edu.

The SSAFE Fund Coordinator will verify that all information is accurate and correct. The Coordinator will then remove identifying information and send the application to the committee. The committee will discuss the eligibility of the request and make a determination. Applications are reviewed anonymously and the coordinator does not participate in the review and determination process.

Unfortunately, the request is not eligible if the account is not in the applicant’s name.

The SSAFE Fund does not support academic expenses. We recommend contacting Financial Aid and applying for the Last-Mile Fund if eligible.

Yes, but the limitation is $1,000 in assistance per year and cannot be used to support recurring requests (e.g. continuous rent payments).

Since the assistance goes directly to the merchant, there are no additional actions required. The applicant should follow up with the merchant to verify payment has been received.

Though repayment is not necessary, please consider making a gift to support the SSAFE Fund if or when you are able to, so that other members of the UAH community may receive the same help that you did during a time of need.