ARPA - Family Resiliency Programs
The City is supporting a community-centered food system using ARPA funds to reduce food insecurity among disadvantaged and underserved families residing in the community. The City is also investing in our community by purchasing educational technology, such as laptops and WiFi hotspots, and subsidizing the cost of internet service for low-income residents and library patrons. Family Resiliency Programs projects also include ARPA funding for a Workforce Development program, scholarships for recreation programs, and tutoring services to ensure mental health counselors are available to residents in crisis and to fund Quality of Life Grants.
Food Insecurity Reduction Grants: To mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the community and support the rebuilding of a more community-centered food system, the City of Takoma Park dedicated $250,000 in ARPA funds to address two significant areas: (1) increase access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, and (2) provide, secure, and distribute nutritious, quality food to disadvantaged and underserved individuals and families in the City. The City announced the award of Food Insecurity Reduction grants to four qualified organizations in March 2022. A total of $95,000 will be expended in FY23.
Municipal Broadband: This project will help bridge the digital divide and support remote work and education. Subsidies for broadband internet access will be made available for residents who are experiencing economic hardship, in particular those families who earn less than $50,000 per year. The City anticipates broadband subsidies to be available to City residents by September 2022 using $175,000 in ARPA grant funds. Over the course of the ARPA grant program, $400,000 has been allocated for this project.
WiFi Hotspots: Thirty (30) portable Hotspots to expand access to affordable high-speed internet have been purchased using $3,000 in ARPA funds. Hotspot interfaces will be made available to the community on a lending basis through the Takoma Park Library in August 2022.
Laptop Lending: The City will purchase 30 Chrome Book laptops in August 2022 using ARPA funds ($11,000) to provide for the computing needs of residents who require access beyond open hours of the Library Computer Center for periods longer than a session at the Computer Center, or to use elsewhere inside the Library. Laptops will be made available through the Library’s circulation/lending process. Paired with the WiFi hotspot lending and municipal broadband programs, the lending of laptops is part of the Library’s effort to use ARPA funding to bridge the City’s digital divide.
Workforce Development for Unemployed/Underemployed Residents: The changing landscape of work requires that more residents receive training and skills enhancement to increase economic opportunities over the long-run. Many City residents are underemployed or unemployed. This requires a focus on re-training or credentialing of residents who are seeking additional training and support. ARPA funds ($100,000) will be used in FY23 to directly support local hiring and workforce certification efforts for Takoma Park residents. This assistance is targeted to resident job seekers. The City will partner with a nonprofit organization to implement the program in the Fall of 2022.
Recreation Scholarships and Tutoring (FY23): The Takoma Park Recreation Department scholarship program is designed to assist individuals and families with access to all programs. Scholarships in the amount of $100,000 will give Takoma Park residents an opportunity to learn, grow and have fun at a reduced cost. ARPA funds ($25,000) will also be used to offer tutoring services to assist Takoma Park students who are struggling with schoolwork.
Mental Health Crisis Counselors (FY23): A total of $600,000 has been allocated in ARPA funds for a two-year pilot program which will employ two mental health counselors on a full-time basis to respond to calls involving residents in crisis and suffering mental health issues. Counselors will work with City Departments and the Montgomery County Health and Human Services crisis teams to respond to active cases and to provide follow-up for identified residents. The goal of the pilot program is to address mental health and related needs in the community and to move toward a non-policing approach to mental health crisis intervention. For FY23, it is anticipated that the project will be underway in October 2022 with a budget of $350,000.
Quality of Life Grants: Up to $110,000 in ARPA grant funds have been made available for Quality of Life Grants for programs, projects, and events that improve the quality of life for City residents. Low- and moderate-income residents will have greater access and opportunities for participation in the arts and sciences. Eligible projects include:
- Arts and Humanities (A&H) programs, projects, and events;
- Science, Technology Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs, projects, and events.
As of July 2022, 12 awards have been made for a total of $102,000. The program is administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development.
- American Rescue Plan Act
- ARPA – Affordable Housing
- ARPA – Small Business Recovery
- ARPA – Social Services Partnerships
- ARPA – Family Resiliency Programs
- ARPA – Community Anchors
- ARPA – City Operations
Family Resiliency Programs Projects in FY23 by Department
The following projects are set to be activated in FY23.
|FY23||FY23 Budget||Issuing Department|
|Food Insecurity Reduction Grants||$90,000||Housing & Community Development|
|Workforce Development for Unemployed/Underemployed Residents||$100,000||Housing & Community Development|
|Recreation Scholarships & Tutoring||$125,000||Recreation|
|Mental Health Crisis Counselors||$350,000||Police|
|Quality of Life Grants||$110,000||Housing & Community Development|