Hall County is set to give out nearly $4 million to 22 local nonprofits, helping these organizations expand their facilities, add staff and close the gap in fundraising goals.
The county reviewed 49 total applications, and applications had to show broad community support, fiscal responsibility and have an active board of directors.
The county received a total of nearly $40 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, and county commissioners decided last October to use 10% of those funds for local nonprofits who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The county released details about the final awards as part of its work session agenda Monday, April 11, and the Board of Commissioners is expected to give final approval to the awards at its voting meeting Thursday.
Good News at Noon, Good News Clinics and Gateway Domestic Violence Center are each set to receive $375,000, the largest amount awarded by the county. And several received more than $200,000 including the Gainesville Housing Authority, Habitat for Humanity, Family Promise, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Hispanic Alliance and Center Point.
Ken Gossage, executive director of Good News at Noon, a transitional shelter in Gainesville, said the money would go toward their new facility, which they are hoping to move into at the end of August.
The new facility will increase their capacity, with room for 20 women’s beds and 40 men’s beds. With the county money, they will be at 55% of their goal, and Gossage said, they are still hoping for more fundraising throughout this cycle.
“We’ve still got a few major donors that said they are interested but they’re just not ready,” Gossage said. “We’re just trusting God that he’s got all that money on track to come in on time.”
Gateway, a center for victims of domestic violence, will be able to move into its new facility debt-free because of this infusion of cash, said Jessica Butler, executive director of Gateway. And Good News Clinics will put money toward costs it incurred during the pandemic, when it was providing care to patients who could otherwise not afford it, said Liz Coates, Good News’ executive director.
“During COVID, with all the job loss and the various things that the community experienced, we really did have to fill the gap for folks who lost their health insurance benefits during that time,” Coates said.
Center Point is expected to receive about $233,000, to go toward growing its counseling residency program in K-12 schools, so that hundreds more students and their families will be able to receive free counseling in Hall County.
“This grant will allow us to have residents (in schools),” said Barbara Fleming, executive director of Center Point. “Basically a student who has completed their master’s program in counseling and they’ve got to work for three years to get the full licensure.”
“We anticipate with this funding, we’ll be able to serve an additional 360 people every year.”
The organization serves 10,000 students and families each year through all of its counseling, education and mentoring programs, Fleming said. They will be able to hire two residents for two years.
Chairman Richard Higgins said the board and staff discussed how to prioritize grant recipients at its retreat in February. His focus was on those who had been long established in the community helping “disadvantaged populations.”
“We felt like we had an opportunity to help the nonprofits,” Higgins said. “They’ve had a rough time the last two years as far as revenues go, because of COVID, and we felt like it was the right thing to do.”
“Part of it is just how long they’ve been around and what they do and how they affect the community,” he said of how they considered candidates.
The Hall County Board of Commissioners is expected to approve the funds at its meeting Thursday, April 14.
These nonprofits received money from the American Rescue Plan Act:
1. Good News at Noon - $375,000
2. Good News Clinic - $375,000
3. Gateway House - $375,000
4. Gainesville Housing - $250,000
5. Habitat for Humanity - $250,000
6. Center Point GA - $233,742
7. Family Promise - $250,000
8. Hall/Dawson Court Appointed Special Advocates - $175,000
9. My Sister’s Place - $60,000
10. Rape Response - $118,206
11. Boys and Girls Clubs - $250,000
12. Hispanic Alliance - $225,000
13. Georgia Mountains Young Men’s Christian Association - $100,000
14. Good Samaritan Ministries of Northeast Georgia - $80,000
15. United Way - $250,000
16. Choices Pregnancy Center - $60,790
17. Edmonson Telford Center for Children - $80,000
18. Sisu - $135,000
19. Supporting Adoption and Foster Families Together - $179,839
20. Grady Young Foundation - $50,000
21. Friends of Recovery - $50,000
22. Sunshine Seniors - $48,450