St. Joe County approves $10M in federal COVID grants. Here’s who will benefit.

SOUTH BEND — The St. Joseph County Council on Tuesday unanimously approved millions of dollars in American Rescue Plan grants, with large amounts going to the United Way, Cultivate Food Rescue, homeless programs and other charities.

The spending package totaled close to $10 million and essentially wrapped up the county’s first half of its total $53 million in the federal COVID-relief dollars. The county will get another $21.5 million payout from the government to spend in the next year.

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The latest round of spending includes $1.65 million for “Motels4Now,” the “low-barrier” homeless program run by Our Lady of the Road, mainly at the Knights Inn motel on Lincoln Way West. Supporters of the program have said they need another round of county funding while they explore the possibility of building a new publicly and privately funded shelter, possibly at the county-owned Portage Manor property.

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Among other big-ticket projects, the United Way was awarded more than $3.6 million toward three community centers throughout the county. Cultivate was awarded $1 million to upgrade its food storage capabilities, and the South Bend Center for the Homeless won $1 million to make renovations to improve its COVID safety protocols.

For many nonprofit grant recipients, the county is awarding half of the money upfront, while awarding the rest as the charities collect their own matching donations.

Original article here.