$37 million to go to Wyandotte County in CARES Act funding

Wyandotte County is receiving $37.3 million in CARES Act funding, approved recently by the state Office of Reovery.

The UG Commission approved the allocation of the funding for programs helping the community to recover from COVID-19.

Of the $37.3 million, public health received $12.5 million, cities and county government received $18.4 million, and education and nonprofit agencies received $6.3 million.

The funding will provide more than $9 million in direct aid to local organizations that are assisting in the COVID-19 response, including assistance for rent,utilities and food. The funding was allocated by the CARES Act Working Group using a data-informed scoring method.

“The allocation of $37 million in initial CARES Act funding will provide a tremendous benefit to our community as we continue to battle the health and economic impacts of COVID-19,” Mayor David Alvey said in a news release. “In particular, I’m pleased that more than $9 million in direct aid will be distributed to more than 60 local organizations in Wyandotte County, providing meaningful support to nonprofits and small businesses, as well as rent, utility, and food assistance for our residents.”

“The state’s acceptance of our submission is a testament to the CARES Act team’s effort to align with both the needs of the community and the requirements of the state,” said Commissioner Angela Markley, CARES Act Committee chair. “The team continues to carry an incredible load as we muscle through this process, and I am so thankful for their efforts. Now we look forward to disbursement of funds into our community, as the many amazing organizations we were able to support with these funds provide ‘direct aid,’ in its truest sense, to our residents.”

Since Sept. 7, the CARES Act Planning Team has worked diligently to complete financial reporting tools and to notify local organizations of their pending awards.

“This has been a complete effort by all involved,” said Crystal Sprague, Unified Government CARES Act planning team manager. “Finishing the first steps of the Cares Act Funding process is a testament to the amazing work ethic of the governing body, staff, and the community organizations. There is a shared belief that Wyandotte County can respond, and will recover, to the complex needs created by the pandemic. CARES funding is critical to piece that goal.”

Funding priorities under the CARES Act submission:
• Reimburse the Unified Government, Bonner Springs, and Edwardsville for allowable expenses,
• Strengthen the ability for robust public health responses,
• Improve the adaptability of taxing entities, and
• Grow requisite health & human services, and build community resiliency.

The more than $9 million in direct aid to local organizations will have an important positive impact on Wyandotte County by strengthening public health responses, growing health and human services, and build community resiliency.

“This funding provided by the Unified Government is a huge blessing in helping us to combat the physical and technological challenges facing families in Wyandotte County,” said Wes Parham, Urban Scholastic Center executive director. “We expect that with these funds we will be able to continue to feed over 200+ people a week and provide technological assistance for hundreds of students from six different Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools.”

Urban Scholastic Center was awarded $20,000 in CARES Act funding to provide technical support for students and families from six different Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools, and continue to feed more than 200 people per week.

Other awardees include:

Sharon Lee Family Health CARE
$245,784 in CARES Act funding to support care projects, staff time, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for drive-through testing, and support for a COVID-19 community support hotline.

Wyandot Behavioral Health Network, Inc
$176,576 in CARES Act funding to reimburse expenditures to support Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), install protective equipment and safety barriers, provide telehealth and remote work services, and increase communication about health services and how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Community Health Council of Wyandotte County
$330,998 in CARES Act funding to continue COVID-19 response efforts including, wellness check calls, door-drop food delivery, purchase cleaning supplies, continued case management and referrals for at least 300 new clients, and coordinating with other groups to continue free pop-up COVID-19 testing around Wyandotte County.

Latino Health for All Coalition
$131,916 in CARES Act funding to reimburse and continue work related to providing Latinos in Wyandotte County with information about COVID-19 testing, and to continue work related to organizing pop-up testing locations in support of the Unified Government Public Health Department’s Health Equity Task Force.

United Way of Greater Kansas City
$1,245,000 in funding from the CARES Act will be used to provide rent/mortgage assistance, utility assistance, temporary housing, and staff to manage the disbursement of assistance funds.

$50,000 in funding from the CARES Act will be used to package 150,000 non-perishable meals in the Wyandotte County area through their Something to Eat meal packaging program.

Fellowship Christian Church
$50,000 in funding from the CARES Act will be used to provide essential services to senior citizens, low-income persons, and workers who have been displaced due to the coronavirus epidemic. Senior citizen services will include initiatives such as receiving monthly COVID-19 Safety Gift Bags, prescription assistance, rental assistance, utility assistance, and food distribution services

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City
$33,000 in funding from the CARES Act will be used to hire a health care worker, additional staff, obtain personal protective equipment (PPE), and purchase additional snacks for young men and women that are not directly funded through subsidies.

The full list of awardees and the amounts awarded are available online at www.wycokck.org/CARES.

The CARES Act Planning Team has a webinar with awardees to cover timelines and reporting requirements in the future. To view the CARES Act Working Group’s Sept. 14 report to the Unified Government’s Administration and Human Services Standing Committee, visit the UG’s YouTube Channel, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gTnUhzIF9o&feature=youtu.be&t=4212. The report begins at the 01:10:12 mark.

To learn more about the CARES Act in Wyandotte County, visit www.wycokck.org/CARES.

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