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County Administrator's Office

For Immediate Release

Board of Supervisors approve $39 million in ARPA funding for 27 community proposals

Santa Rosa, CA | May 25, 2022

En español »

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today allocated $39 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to support disproportionately impacted individuals and households who have suffered economic impacts as well as disparities in public health outcomes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The support will come through 27 community investment proposals identified by the Board of Supervisors that will receive contracts starting in July.

“We could not thank the ARPA review committee enough for their arduous work and commitment to reviewing the high volume of proposals and making the recommendations we see today,” said Supervisor James Gore, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “We appreciate their time and contribution to this process.”

The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, allowing local governments to provide direct assistance to individuals and communities, in particular low-income communities and communities of color, who have been most impacted by COVID-19. 

The county received 78 eligible proposals requesting a combined total of $172 million in funding. All eligible proposals were reviewed by a volunteer review committee made up of 33 community members representing a range of lived and professional experiences, particularly of communities of color, as well as the expertise of the ARPA Equity Workgroup, local nonprofits, local businesses, and local government entities. The review committee was supported by staff from the county’s Human Services Department and the Office of Equity.

County staff provided training and orientation for the review committee members including local epidemiological data and data from the Portrait of Sonoma: 2021 Update, which demonstrate the disproportionately negative impact of COVID-19 on communities of color in Sonoma County, especially the Black, Indigenous and Latinx communities and other heavily impacted groups such as farm workers, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) owned small businesses and nonprofits, BIPOC students, and high school students who graduated during virtual learning.

Reviewers were assigned evenly to six committees representing eight board-approved priority areas and County department proposals including mental health; small business and nonprofit; assistance to households; housing and shelter and childcare; department proposals and assistance to workers; and educational disparities.

The review committees used a scoring system that considered program design and approach, including targeted services in qualified census tracts, organizational capacity, and fiscal qualifications and budget. The committees then elevated a total of 39 proposals to the funding recommendation committee, made of one representative of each priority area committee, who conducted a methodical, qualitative review of proposals from which a total of 27 applications were selected to present to the Board to recommend for funding.

Recommendations for funding were based on the percentage of total funding that was requested in each area. For example, approximately 18 percent of funding requests were for mental health services, so the formula allocated 18 percent of funding to mental health services. 

“The proposals that are moving forward were thoughtfully recommended by the review committee, and though they only represent a percentage of the solutions available compared to the need in our communities, this is a meaningful first step towards an equitable recovery start,” said Alegría De La Cruz, Director of the Office of Equity. “This is where the process begins. We will continue to stay focused, aligned with community priorities, and committed to holding ourselves accountable to address the greatest needs in our community.”

Contracts will be awarded to recipients July 2022 through December 2023 with potential for renewal through Dec. 24, 2024, depending on outcomes achieved by the recipient.

“There is an accountability process in place. Through tracking Equity Centered Results-based Accountability metrics, we will make sure that the proposals that are receiving funding actually serve the communities they are telling us they will,” said Oscar Chavez, Assistant Director of Human Services. “Before renewing programs for the next contract period, these Equity Centered Results-based Accountability data will be used to determine if a program should continue receiving funding.”

Learn more about the ARPA funding recommendations at https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/administrative-support-and-fiscal-services/county-administrators-office/projects/arpa.

 

Media Contact:

Matt Brown, Communications Specialist

publicaffairs@sonoma-county.org

(707) 565-3040

575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A

Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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