Capital grants to assist 45 nonprofit projects

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022

Original story By Susan Straub

Capital grants supported by federal American Rescue Plan funds will soon be awarded to 45 local nonprofit projects, Mayor Linda Gorton said today.

“Nonprofits provide important services in our community. Although we have traditionally provided support for these agencies, it is usually for operating expenses,” Gorton said. “Nonprofits often find that grants they qualify for cannot be used for capital expenses.”

The one-time grants include $6.4 million to support facility improvement and operational investments. To qualify for the grants, nonprofits must be located in Fayette County, or serve local residents.

With these new grants, 23 agencies will be able to make much needed renovations, improve accessibility to facilities for those with disabilities, and more.

“This is exciting for our community, and I am thrilled with the new and expanded resources offered because of these grants,” Gorton said.

Social Services Commissioner Kacy Allen-Bryant said, “These nonprofit capital grants will make it possible for agencies to have bigger spaces, functioning vans, and updated technology, for example. All of the projects will increase the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of these agencies’ services.”

The grants, ranging from $1,500 to $500,000, will provide one-time assistance to 23 non-profit agencies. Evaluation criteria included a demonstrated need, providing services to low-income, underserved, or marginalized Fayette County residents, operational feasibility, ability to meet American Rescue Plan requirements, and a cost analysis. Funds must be expended before April 20, 2024.

A representative of a nonprofit receiving Capital Grant funding discussed how this program will help their organization:

“Natalie’s Sisters is a first-touch outreach to sexually-exploited and sex-trafficked women,” said Natalie’s Sisters Executive Director Jani Lewis. “On behalf of not only the two women who will be the first tenants of the duplex this grant will be purchasing, but also on behalf of the over 400 women we reach each year, we are thankful for the community’s generosity and compassion.”

In choosing the programs, city teams from the Department of Social Services, Housing Advocacy and Community Development, General Services and Finance extensively reviewed 138 project proposals requesting a total of $21.1 million. A complete list of the funded Capital Grants is attached.

Commissioner Kacy Allen-Bryant