Fifteen nonprofits will be receiving an allocation of ARPA funds

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Nearly $6 million of 2022-23 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant funding was approved to be allocated to Community-Based Organizations (CBO) in San Luis Obispo County to address the goals of the countywide Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).

“This is an exciting day for us in public health because this is bringing to fruition something that’s been in the works for over a year,” said SLO County Public Health Director Penny Borenstein.

Funds from the act will be allocated to “nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, private business entities, community-based organizations, coalitions, or partnerships to address the negative economic and public health impacts brought about by the COVID-19 public health emergency in San Luis Obispo County,” according to the agenda item’s document.

Borenstein explained staff are still conducting COVID testing and vaccinations, the costs of which will be covered by ARPA. In June 2021, the supervisors approved the ARPA funds to be directed towards response measures of COVID and mitigation.

However, now the Public Health Department has recognized other areas, such as mental health, which need to be addressed in the county as part of the CHIP.

Nonprofits and community programs have already applied for fund allocation and 14 of those projects were recommended to the supervisors for approval. Twenty-seven organizations submitted 31 applications for the ARPA funding but only 29 of those were eligible for consideration. 

Organizations seeking ARPA funding must have followed the Public Health Impacts Request for Applications (RFA) Process. A specific scoring process was used:

  • CHIP Critical Health Impact & Impact of COVID (30 points max)
  • Populations to be Served to Enhance Access to Care (30 points max)
  • Organizational Capacity and Project Components (20 points max)
  • Project Work Plan (10 points max)
  • Project Budget (10 points max)

Some of the organizations recommended for receiving funds were One Cool Earth, Boys & Girls Club of Mid-Central Coast, CAPSLO Project #1: Adult Day Care, CAPSLO Project #2: Mobile Reproductive Health Clinic, and Lumina Alliance.

Nonprofit organizations, government agencies, private businesses, community-based organizations, coalitions, or partnerships could apply for capital expense projects ($50,000 minimum) or operating expense, service, and program projects ($200,000 minimum).

District 1 Supervisor John Peschong motioned to add Senior Nutrition Program, Meals that Connect, to be approved for $200,000. To accommodate that, he motioned to take $50,000 from City Farm, CONSOLE, HASLO, and One Cool Earth.

The motion was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors.

The next SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for Sept. 27 at 9 a.m.