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Lane County converts $3 million in COVID-19 stimulus funding to community grants

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Lane County has awarded $3 million dollars in one-time grants to support social service projects of community organizations.

The Lane County Board of Commissioners has voted to use 3 million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funding as community grants. The one-time grants were made to 17 local organizations supporting social services, housing, mental health, at-risk youth and more.

One recipient, McKenzie Valley Long Term Recovery Group, will use a $400,000 grant to assist survivors of the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire. Executive Director Devin Thompson said the disaster, compounded by the pandemic and inflation, has made rebuilding a slow, expensive process.

“The logistics of the McKenzie being almost fifty miles away from the nearest lumber store,” Thompson said, “and then trying to find construction workers that want to do that commute up and down that river every day, present challenges.” Thompson pointed out that of the 464 homes destroyed on the McKenzie River, only 61 have been rebuilt so far.

Blue River, Ore., lies in ruin on Sept. 15, 2020, just eight days after the Holiday Farm Fire swept through its business district.
Pool photo by Andy Nelson
The Register-Guard
Blue River, Ore., lies in ruin on Sept. 15, 2020, just eight days after the Holiday Farm Fire swept through its business district.

McKenzie River Long Term Recovery Group provides assistance by way of appliances, restoring utilities, building supplies and contract labor, to get displaced residents back home where they are “safe, secure, sanitary” for the long term.

The 17 Lane County grants were made to:

  • Center for Rural Livelihoods in Oregon (Community Supported Forestry) – $75,000
  • Centro Latino Americano (Social Services & Community Gardens) – $450,000
  • Community Sharing Program (Community Service Center Support) – $50,000
  • DevNW (Economic Recovery & Resilience Post-COVID-19) – $50,000
  • Florence Food Share (Operations) – $25,000
  • Kids FIRST (Therapy Program & Medical Expansion) – $260,000
  • HIV Alliance (Access to Integrated Care to Address Health Disparities) – $257,000
  • Homes for Good Housing Agency (The Commons on MLK) – $150,000
  • Lane Arts Council (Arts & Cultural Engagement in Rural Lane County) – $30,000
  • Looking Glass Community Services (At-Risk Youth Rural Program Renovation Project) – $150,000
  • McKenzie Valley Long Term Recovery Group (Holiday Farm Fire recovery support) – $400,000
  • Mid Lane Cares (Fern Ridge Service Center Community Response) – $88,000
  • Nurturely (COVID-19 Prevention, Education, and Support for Pregnant and Postpartum People and Babies) – $172,000
  • Ophelia’s Place (Inclusive Mental Health Program for Adolescent Girls) – $175,000
  • PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center (Riverbend Institute for Nursing Excellence) – $350,000
  • SquareOne Villages (Peace Village Co-Op) – $243,000
  • Volunteers in Medicine Clinic (Operations) – $75,000

Applications for funding were accepted from May 16 to July 6. A total of 71 applications, amounting to $15.7 million in requests, were submitted. A committee made up of two commissioners, a community representative and staff reviewed and scored applications according to the guidelines established in the application documents.
More information about the use of ARPA funding in Lane County is available at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/ARPA.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.