ALEXANDRIA, VA – The City of Alexandria and ACT for Alexandria (ACT) are partnering with 18 local organizations to distribute $1.9 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. This funding is awarded through a competitive grant-making process for the continued work of COVID-19 recovery in the city.
“Our goal in using federal ARPA funding was to leverage public-private initiatives to improve the resiliency of vulnerable Alexandrians,” said Justin Wilson, Mayor of Alexandria. “This innovative initiative will help many Alexandrians in a meaningful way.”
The Alexandria Community Access and Emergency Support (CAES) grant program was created to ensure that individuals and families are receiving the support they need as the impact of the pandemic continues to affect many Alexandrians. The grant program is designed to link families to benefits and programs that they are eligible for and to ensure that ongoing resource needs continue to be funded.
“City Council and leaders in City government understand that Alexandria’s nonprofits have a unique relationship with community members,” said Heather Peeler, President and CEO of ACT for Alexandria. “ACT is honored to partner with the City on this important program and ensure a just recovery from COVID’s devastation.”
Partner organizations include:
- African Communities Together
- Arlington Housing Corporation Inc.
- The Child and Family Network Centers
- Christ Church
- EnDependence Center of Northern Virginia
- Friends of Guest House
- Grace Episcopal Church
- Inova Health Care Services
- Legal Aid Justice Center of Northern Virginia
- Nueva Vida, Inc.
- Offender Aid and Restoration of Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church
- Old Presbyterian Meeting House
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Mary Conference
- Paul’s Episcopal Church
- Tenants and Workers United
- The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command
- Wesley Housing
“We are excited about the potential of this ARPA-funded effort, and we are grateful to be partnering once again with ACT to carry out this work with our nonprofit partners across the city,” said Kate Garvey, Director of the Department of Community and Human Services. “While the impact of the pandemic has lessened for many people across our community, there are many who are still facing serious financial, housing and well-being issues. We feel that these efforts will both have a positive impact on Alexandrians who are facing these challenges as well as drive systems changes that will strengthen our ongoing supports for individuals and families.”
The “Community Access” component of the CAES program ($1.2 million of the total $1.9 million) will provide navigation support to ensure individuals are enrolled in key local, state, and federal programs. This pilot program will run for a 20-month period.
The “Emergency Support” portion of the CAES program ($709,000 in grants) will help community members who may not qualify for government programs cover urgent financial needs. Emergency Support will provide tangible and emergency financial aid that includes gift cards, transportation assistance, childcare assistance, eviction prevention, and financial assistance. ACT began accepting grant applications for the second round of the Emergency Support program on September 8, 2022.
“We received both the Alexandria Community Access and Emergency Support grants,” said Dominique Dunford Lack from the EnDependence Center of Northern Virginia. “We’re looking forward to using both of those funding sources to help us sharpen our focus on and intentionally reach marginalized people with disabilities, immigrants, and BIPOC communities through our work specifically in the City of Alexandria.”
ACT will host on-going conversations with the Alexandria Community Access and Emergency Support grantees to discuss emerging needs and ways to strengthen partnerships. In coordination with the City’s Office of Performance Analytics and an evaluator, one-on-one interviews will be conducted with each participating organization to understand successes, challenges, lessons learned, system changes, and recommendations for better serving Alexandrians in the future.
For more information, please contact:
Aaliyah Kerr, ACT for Alexandria
(703) 739-7778 ext. 107
Jennifer Cohen Cordero, City of Alexandria