St. Petersburg Allocates 9.1 Million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds
St. Petersburg Allocates $9.1 Million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds
Pinellas Community Foundation and St. Pete Free Clinic Selected for ARPA-Funded Projects
Nov. 3, 2022 - Following the receipt of $45 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars in 2021, the City of St. Petersburg has identified two local organizations to carry out key Health and Social Equity ARPA projects totaling more than $9.1 million. Selections were approved by City Council at the November 3 council meeting.
"It's exciting to see how these allocations serve as positive mile markers for this impactful collaboration between our Administration, City Council, and the Biden Administration," said St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. "Pinellas Community Foundation and St. Pete Free Clinic have proven experience that make them the most suitable entities for the distribution of these ARPA funds," he continued. "Their efforts will directly address two of my five Pillars for Progress, specifically, Housing Opportunities for All and Neighborhood Health & Safety and moves our strategic vision and efforts forward in our pursuit of a St. Petersburg where opportunity for all thrives."
"I want to commend the Welch administration for valuing the input of our residents and City Council and making the decision to push the reset button on the plan for ARPA funds," said Brandi Gabbard, Vice-Chair of the St. Petersburg City Council. "Because of the Mayor's willingness to collaborate and think bigger about this one-time funding opportunity, we now are spending more of these dollars on addressing our housing needs than any other city in the State of Florida. With the remainder of those dollars going towards social service funding and wrap-around services, we can better address the greatest impacts left behind by the pandemic and build programs and resources that will last in our community for years to come."
As a sub-recipient of $8.58 million in ARPA funds, Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF) will create a competitive solicitation process to establish a network of coordinated, neighborhood-based, trauma-informed social service Hubs in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionate impacts from the pandemic. "Pinellas Community Foundation is excited to work with the city and the community to advance neighborhood resilience through a focus on mental health," said PCF's CEO Duggan Cooley. Hubs will have direct access to emergency funding to address crisis needs and stabilize the household. Once stabilized, the Hubs will provide trauma-informed therapy, case management, and assertive outreach. PCF will also establish a shared services organization that will provide administrative support to Hubs and other nonprofits across the city.
As a contractor of $535,000 of ARPA funds, St. Pete Free Clinic (SPFC) will address food security by implementing a Healthy Neighborhood Store Program in census tracts designated as food deserts. "SPFC is grateful for the City's investment in a Healthy Stores Initiative which will help us deliver more nutrition and food security to our neighbors in high need areas of the city," said Jennifer Yeagley, CEO of SPFC. While there are numerous corner/convenient stores in these census tracts, healthy food options are not made available to neighborhood residents. This program will provide technical assistance, capital improvements, and incentives to participating stores. SPFC will design, implement, and monitor the program for a two-year period.
The City of St. Petersburg and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding (www.stpete.org/arpa)
ARPA intends to provide relief funds to state, local, and tribal governments that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. These funds can be used by governments to respond to the public health and economic emergency, provide premium pay to essential workers, replace revenue lost due to the pandemic, and make necessary investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
In 2021, the City of St. Petersburg received approximately $45 million in ARPA funds and have identified key projects that will directly impact St. Pete residents and fall within Mayor Welch's five Pillars for Progress: Housing Opportunities for All; Neighborhood Health & Safety; Equitable Development, Arts & Business Opportunities; Education & Youth Opportunities; and Environment, Infrastructure & Resilience.