Lancaster County Board Awards $15 Million to Local Nonprofits

(KFOR NEWS  February 17, 2022)   The Lancaster County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday awarded $15 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support 30 local nonprofits impacted by the pandemic.  This funding is a part of an overall strategic plan by the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County to deploy ARPA funds. These awards provide a substantial infusion of resources into Lincoln and Lancaster County to meet pandemic response needs, including funding for food, housing, utilities, mental health, childcare, racial equity, and victim safety.

The approval by the County Board of Commissioners follows a rigorous process that began in late August 2021.  A panel comprised of community nonprofit funders reviewed and scored 64 applications with a combined request of $88 million.  The panel provided recommendations to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC), a partnership between Lancaster County, the City of Lincoln, and community stakeholders.  After another review process, the JBC recommended awarding funds to 30 local nonprofit organizations that serve individuals in need.

Deb Schorr, Chair of the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners, stated, “The process we established is a good example of local government coming together to quickly allocate funds to meet the needs of Lincoln and Lancaster County residents.  I would like to thank the members of the panel for their contribution in making this process a success.  This is a once in a generation investment in our community partners that will ensure their ability to provide vital services in Lincoln and Lancaster County.”

“These federal funds will bolster our local nonprofit partners’ capacity to address significant needs and provide life-changing services,” said Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird. “Thank you to all those who contributed to this thoughtful and collaborative grant process and thank you to our nonprofits who work tirelessly every day to provide help and hope to our most vulnerable residents.”

James Michael Bowers, JBC Chair and City of Lincoln Council Chair, stated, “This is a historic opportunity for our community to meet pandemic related needs and offer meaningful and lasting change by expanding essential services such as food assistance, family therapy, housing, and so much more.”

Established in 1859, Lancaster County is Nebraska’s second most populated county. Home to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Lancaster County is a growing and dynamic community. In collaboration with the City of Lincoln, Lancaster County provides a variety of services for residents and has been nationally recognized for its cooperation and progressive attitude in service to residents. The mission of the Lancaster County Board is to provide sustainable governmental services for a healthy, safe, and diverse community.

For more information about Lancaster County please visit the website at www.lancaster.ne.gov or call 402-441-7447.

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