ROCHESTER, NY (WHEC) – Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced the community organizations and providers who will receive a share of the county’s $144 million U.S. federal allocation.
40 initiatives will be funded in the hope that they will bring about positive change in the county-designated high priority areas: workforce development and economic recovery; public health and welfare; public safety; and infrastructure as well as sustainability.
“By actively participating in several outreach sessions held over the course of a year, Monroe County residents have taught us how to prioritize these vital ARPA funds with thoughtful, deliberate investments that will inspire transformative change in our community” , says Bello.
ARPA was signed into law in March 2021 and allocated $1.9 trillion in federal emergency relief and recovery funds, of which $350 billion was earmarked to support state, local, territorial and tribal. Monroe County got $144,080,127 in local tax relief funds.
Bello says the county tried to choose programs that would impact the most people with a focus on diversity and inclusion. “Ultimately, these programs had to prove… how are you going to change the lives of people on the other end of the program,” he said.
The Healthy Baby Network doesn’t just plan to change lives with the $2.2 grant it’s about to receive, it could actually save some by expanding a doula program to prevent black maternal and child mortality. . “Doulas, when there is cultural parity, provide a protective layer of support for women and families,” says Executive Director Sherita Bullock. “The doula actually comes in to sort out some of these things to provide families with education and information about some of the things that can go wrong and what they look like, and then provide them with the guidance and information to defend themselves.”
Part of the Healthy Baby Network stipend will also go towards a mentorship program for fathers, especially those who have previously been incarcerated. “We’re starting to think about the impact of men who are fathers who are also involved in violent situations on what that impact looks like generationally on their children and on their ability to become parents,” says Bullock.
Another agency that receives a grant is Lifespan. He plans to use his $800,000 award to expand a program that arranges transportation to medical facilities, pharmacy deliveries, and schedules preventive screenings and vaccinations for seniors. Lifespan will also expand a program focused on the most vulnerable seniors. “Lifespan will send an LPN, a nurse with seniors to doctor’s appointments so that we can reinforce medical instructions and we also make sure that the drugs that doctors prescribe, make sure those drugs are reconciled,” says CEO Ann Marie Cook.
Monroe Community College got $5.5 million to expand a program it has to transition entry-level healthcare workers into nurses. “About 85% of our students that we have here in our CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) programs are single mothers who are the breadwinners of their families and they cannot afford to take time off to attend a nursing program. full-time RPNs,” says Marcy Lynch, director of health care programs at MCC’s downtown campus. That’s why MCC plans to use the funding to expand transition clinical programs that promote a smoother transition. The programs are free for CNAs and other medical workers who qualify and offer flexible hours and other resources to help support participants. “Students have goals and when they achieve those goals they get gift cards and can earn extra funds as a result, the other thing we’ve added is stipends, so when individuals have finished for example …the LPN program is a long program and they reduce the work regardless of the support provided to them, so each quarter they receive a stipend for their success,” says Lynch.
If students need other help along the way, whether it’s childcare, housing, or even food, there are supports in place to provide it. “We do food cards for lunches as well as Walmart or Wegman cards to help them with their groceries,” says Lynch. “One of my students has five kids and she’s in the program, so some of these things. help them not have to take the time to go grocery shopping and work with our on-campus food pantry. Whatever it takes to get people where they want to be, which in turn brings more nurses to our health care facilities.
The full list of agencies to receive ARPF grants can be found below.