Cumberland County ARPA Grants are a Game Changer for Organizations Providing Health Services
Without the grant, Tomorrow’s Neighbors would have a harder time meeting the challenge of helping people reintegrate into society after their incarceration.
“It’s a blessing,” said Kurt Danysh, founder and executive director of the Carlisle-based organization. “It’s the difference between whether or not we can provide accommodation.”
Cumberland County commissioners last month awarded 17 organizations $7.1 million in grants from federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.
The county has targeted grants for programs that improve the physical and mental health of county residents directly or indirectly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tomorrow’s Neighbors will receive $1 million to support a reintegration housing program for people transitioning from prison to the community.
“The grant will be solely for the operation of the housing solution, which we call Cumberland House,” Danysh said. “It will pay the lease, the wages [of staff members] and utilities. He will keep it operational for five years.
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Located at an undisclosed address in Carlisle, Cumberland House will have 10 to 15 beds for men housed in a facility within walking distance of a variety of services, including laundromat, grocery stores, restaurants and business opportunities. use.
Each resident will receive two months of free rent, giving them a chance to find a job, Danysh said.
“We want to be a hub of services that exist in the county,” he added. “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel or duplicate services. Any providers trying to serve this population can come to this location.”
$2 million grant will make it easier for Sadler Health Center to fund a $6.3 million project to renovate the former Lyft building in Hampden Township into a 21,000 square foot health center serving the West Shore and Mechanicsburg area.
“Prior to receiving the ARPA grant, we were sitting on nearly $2 million in commitments,” said Laurel Spagnolo, director of development and community engagement. “It brings us a lot closer to our campaign goal.”
She said the subsidy also provides a cushion against escalating costs caused by supply chain issues and other factors.
“We held our breath waiting to receive information,” Spagnolo said of the grant program. “This grant makes all the difference for us. We are still continuing to raise funds to carry out the project. We have received grants from local foundations, corporations and individuals.
The hope is that renovations could begin in November on a facility that could be ready by early next summer to provide a range of services to underserved, uninsured or low-income people, Spagnolo said. “We provide comprehensive support. We serve the whole person. The new center will provide medical, dental and vision care as well as behavioral support services and a pharmacy.
Like Sadler, Tomorrow’s Neighbors had some anxious times as the county went through its grant process.
“There was some urgency on the part of the owner,” Danysh said. “He wanted to know what to do with the property because it was an option to do so [the Cumberland House] or simply divide the building into three apartments and rent it out that way.
“I would never complain about waiting for such a big blessing,” he said. “It’s the government. This is how government works. We are happy that the county worked so quickly to release such an amount of money. We appreciate that they really took the time and prioritized this.
The county is making grants available to support health initiatives, infrastructure projects, and COVID-19 recovery efforts of businesses/nonprofits.
Grant applications in each category were reviewed for eligibility and scored based on criteria developed by county-appointed teams of subject matter experts. Each team, which includes county staff, was then tasked with recommending awards for commissioners to consider before any votes were taken.
Joseph Cress is a reporter for The Sentinel covering education and history. You can reach him at [email protected] or by calling 717-218-0022.