Local non-profits to make use of Adams County ARPA funds
QUINCY (WGEM) - We now know what some Adams County non-profit organizations will do with the American Rescue Plan Act funds they got.
Bella Ease, one of the organizations looking to receive funds, operates an after-and-before school program, Quincy Teen Reach, where kids get help with homework, have access to internet and technology for schooling, and even eat dinner.
It’s a program that Administrative Director Nicole Willis said relies heavily on grants.
“The state knew that, specifically our client-focused programs were going to change. They did open up funds for us to be able to offer distance learning sites for students if we were able,” Willis said.
She said they were able to, and they did, expand their hours from five hours a day to 12.
“But those funds only lasted for about six months. So from August to about December of 2020. So we were functioning long after that and we were functioning at a deficit because of the lack of funding after January of 2021,” she said.
Across town at the Quincy Salvation Army Kroc Center, Operations Director Chad Rodgers said all of their programs were impacted and some they couldn’t operate for a year and a half.
“Because we weren’t open, there was not revenue and so we took very large hits. We actually had to let staff go. We obviously had programs that just didn’t have any revenue coming in. So we have supply needs,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers said they had to close their doors for three months at the start of this pandemic, and once they reopened, they were at a reduced capacity and had to let some staff go because they weren’t bringing in enough revenue.
So Adams County Board Finance Chair Bret Austin said they’re helping non-profits like Bella Ease and The Quincy Salvation Army Kroc Center whose existing programs took a loss because of COVID-19.
“This won’t do everything. It isn’t about that it’s just taking step, after step, after step, to try to get back to some normalcy, get back into what these organizations provide for the community,” Austin said.
He said they put out a call five months ago to see who needed help and they got a significant response.
“Getting funds back to those organizations would be a great way to put money back into the community,” Austin said.
Willis said the $55,000 they’re getting will help cover lost funds.
“So the donations that we receive from individuals in the community and other local sources that we were taking funds from, it’ll help replenish those sources for us to be able to continue,” Willis said.
Rodgers said they’re receiving $92,000.
“So these funds will assist us to bring those staff members back, put them back to work, purchase goods and supplies that are needed to run those programs. Whether it be healthy eating initiatives or just regular supplies that you would have everyday for programs and services,” Rodgers said.
Austin said the county has another two and a half years to use their ARPA funds so they’re considering doing a second round.
However, that second round would be for new programming for non-profits, enhancing remote working, or housing.
Austin said the county has mailed out checks to the awarded organizations so they should have access to the funds soon.
The county board in partnership with the United Way will have a big check presentation with representatives from organizations Thursday at the Adams County Courthouse.
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