(Norwalk, Conn.) Today, Monday, May 16, 2022, Mayor Rilling announced the local nonprofit organization recipients selected to receive one-time grant funds from the Norwalk Community Recovery Fund Program. The City of Norwalk created this program to distribute $1.5 million in federal funds provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 for the sole purpose of benefiting Norwalk residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Norwalk Community Recovery Fund Program is administered by the Norwalk Community Services Department and was designed to give local assistance to nonprofit organizations to address community needs due to the negative economic impacts of the pandemic. In 2021, the Community Services Department, in collaboration with its community partners, identified and prioritized seven organizational focus areas to invest these funds: Eviction prevention, homelessness interventions, behavioral and mental health, early education, workforce initiatives, organizational support, and youth prevention.
"Last year, we decided to allocate $1.5 million of Federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to nonprofit organizations that provide essential community services to help our residents recover from this pandemic," said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. "While this pandemic has impacted everyone, it has exacerbated homelessness and eviction rates, significantly worsened people's mental health, and disproportionately impacted the most marginalized members of our community. Through the creation of the Norwalk Community Recovery Fund Program, I'm proud that we're able to distribute these funds to nearly two-dozen local nonprofits that are on the ground, addressing these urgent challenges."
The Community Recovery Fund was a highly competitive process. The City received far more applications than available for funding and could only fund 67% of the organizations that applied. However, there will be another round of opportunity for funding for nonprofit organizations impacted by COVID-19.
To be considered, eligible nonprofits had to be categorized as a 501(c)(3) and be in business for more than three years. Once the City received applications, they were sent to their respective panel review committee comprised of both city and outside independent subject matter experts. The respective panel review committees evaluated the applications and made recommendations based on a scoring rubric. On Tuesday, May 4, the Common Council's Community Services Committee voted to approve the panel review committee's recommendations, followed by the Norwalk Common Council's vote to move forward with the selected recipients on Tuesday, May 10. All selected nonprofit organizations were notified this past Friday, May 13.
"I'm enormously grateful that Norwalk had the opportunity to create the Norwalk Community Recovery Fund Program to strengthen our community in partnership with local nonprofit organizations," said Lamond Daniels, Chief of Norwalk Community Services Department. "Here in Norwalk, we are fortunate to have a robust nonprofit sector that provides critically important services to our community, day in and day out. Now, many of them will have additional resources to continue to meet the needs of our community, whether it's through early education, workforce initiatives, addressing behavioral and mental health challenges, and more. Since this was a highly competitive process, we, unfortunately, couldn't fund all the organizations that applied. But I want to thank every organization that applied and applaud each of them for the incredible work they do in our community."
Nonprofit organizations selected include:
Carver Foundation, receiving $90,472;
Connecticut Renaissance, Inc., receiving $70,000;
DVCC Norwalk Safe House, receiving $44,846;
Elder House Inc., receiving $25,000;
Family & Children’s Agency, receiving $100,000;
Horizons at Norwalk Community College, receiving $20,000;
Human Services Council, receiving $75,000;
Liberation Programs, Inc., receiving $70,000;
Mid Fairfield Child Guidance Center, Inc., receiving $70,000;
Norwalk ACTS, receiving $70,000;
Norwalk/Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, receiving $100,000;
Norwalk Community College Foundation, receiving $7,000;
Norwalk Community Health Center, receiving $105,000;
Norwalk Grassroots Tennis and Education, receiving $70,950;
Norwalk Housing Authority, receiving $50,000;
Norwalk Senior Center, Inc., receiving $20,000;
Open Door Shelter, Inc., $65,000;
Person 2 Person, receiving $80,000;
Positive Directions, receiving $40,000;
Saturday Academy, Inc., receiving $24,900;
Steppingstones Museum for Children, receiving $70,000;
The Housing Collective, Inc. (formerly Supportive Housing Works, Inc.), $160,500; and
Triangle Community Center, Inc., receiving $70,000.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. The legislation established the Coronavirus-19 State and local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF), which is intended to support state and local governments as they address the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 on their communities, residents, and businesses.