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Community Advocacy Organization

More than $1 million: Schor Announces ARPA Community Grant Awards



(LANSING) - Mayor Andy Schor today announced local organizations who were awarded grants as part of the City’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. The ARPA appropriations resolution, proposed by the Mayor and passed by the Lansing City Council, set aside just under $2 million to be distributed to community groups. “These funds provided by the federal government through ARPA are going to help fund some great programs all across Lansing and for Lansing residents. This diverse group of organizations are doing great work in our community, especially after the effects of COVID on Lansing. Being able to help share this one-time funding to boost their programs as a result of the COVID pandemic is a fantastic step forward,” said Mayor Schor. “The advisory review committee recommended a broad selection to me in terms of services provided, target demographics, and locations within the City. It was a hard job to narrow down all of these requests and they did a great job managing the list.” “I’m pleased to see these grants going to a range of worthy organizations doing such important work across Lansing. Whether for building transitional housing for our homeless population, infrastructure improvements to make the city more accessible for the disabled, or offering essential community health services, this funding will help some of our most impactful service groups start the new year off strong as they continue to make Lansing a more vibrant and welcoming place for everyone,“ Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin stated. The City received 67 applications from organizations across the City, totaling just under $18 million in funding requests. After initial screening reviews for eligibility under the federal guidelines, City officials began a thorough and thoughtful analysis of the eligible requests. Applications were reviewed by a broad, diverse range of voices and backgrounds within Lansing city government. Advised by both the City’s Chief Financial Officer, Desiree A. Kirkland, and Daphine Whitfield, the City’s ARPA Fund Manager, the review group included the following:

  • Jane Bais-DiSessa, Deputy Mayor for Operations & Chief of Staff

  • Kim Coleman, Director, Department of Human Relations & Community Services

  • DeLisa Fountain, Director, Department of Neighborhoods, Art & Citizen Engagement

  • Joe McClure, Budget Director

  • Lucianna Solis, Manager, Mayor’s Community Relations & Faith-Based Initiatives

  • Mark Lawrence, Deputy Chief of Staff & Citizen Advocate

Earlier this year, Mayor Schor proposed, and Lansing City Council appropriated all the funds received from the federal government. This included $1.9 million in one-time funding for eligible community groups and programs directly serving Lansing residents that qualified under federal guidelines and rules. Each organization awarded funds is required to have ongoing liability insurance as well. Below is the full list of community organizations and their funding:


“Thank you to President Biden and Vice-President Harris for their leadership in ensuring that these federal funds were made available to effect programs that directly impact our residents. Our congressional delegation should also be commended, especially Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, and US Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, for ensuring federal funds were available to help local communities and agencies working directly with our residents,” Schor said. Reactions from several community groups who received funding include: “I am ecstatic to receive support for this Reading Readiness program. We will take another step forward towards our community service goals. Thank you for considering and for caring,” said Lee Taylor, Director of Brand New Me. “Essential Blessings started just a few years ago as a way I could help the homeless in the area because I myself experienced homelessness less than 4 years ago. This grant will allow us to continue blessing Lansing's homeless and at-risk population by providing personal care items. Thank you. This is a game changer for my organization,” stated Michelle Gondal of Essential Blessings. "Care Free is very excited and honored to receive this funding. It will help us further expand our footprint in the community and will allow us to provide medical care to even more of Lansing's residents who need it most,” said Dr. Farhan Bhatti, CEO of Care Free Medical. “We are so grateful that the City of Lansing understands the value of safe and affordable housing, especially when the need for a healthy home is more important than ever,” said Carmen Hall, Director of Philanthropy, Habitat for Humanity Capital Region. “We believe the City of Lansing ARPA grant funding will have a significant impact on creating transitional housing for those who are in need of safe and healthy housing.” "We are overjoyed by receiving this grant money. This will ensure the long-term sustainability of GAAY Sports and enables our organization to continue to grow in 2023 and beyond,” stated Nicholas J. Wendling, President, GAAY Sports. “GAAY Sports looks forward to facilitating more safe recreational sports for the LGBTQI+ community in the capital area for many years to come!" The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), a part of the American Rescue Plan, delivers $350 billion to state, county, and local governments across the country to support their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency. The program ensures that governments have the resources needed to support our communities and invest in the future. Per federal guidance the funds must be used to replace lost public sector revenue, support the COVID-19 public health and economic response, provide premium pay for eligible workers performing essential work, and invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure investments.

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