On March 2nd, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the second usage of American Rescue Plan funds. This package approved the launching of a mobile service support initiative, that will connect resources and providers to neighborhoods, an investment in the health departments' efforts to respond to COVID and address longstanding social determinants of health, and the creation of a Community Priority Fund.
The Community Priority Fund (CPF) is a strategic initiative funded by the Board of Commissioners to increase equitable, community-informed allocations of ARPA funding and to support full, ecosystem development for organizations that have not been previously eligible to contract with Washtenaw County. This fund will support innovative programs across a number of topic areas, including community violence intervention, addressing educational disparities, expanding early childhood education, providing direct assistance to households, and addressing housing and homelessness. All programs are required to support low access to opportunity areas, primarily in the 48197 and 48198 zip codes.
The County's Racial Equity Office opened a portal for interested organizations and businesses to submit their proposals in March that closed this week. The next step of this process will be for staff, a community advisory board, and the county administrator to review proposals and provide recommendations for the Board of Commissioners. More updates will be provided on the County's website in the coming weeks and months.