CARES Act Funds Available for Organizations to Support Initiatives in Low-Income Communities, Veterans’ Mental Health

Funding is now available through two new programs to support low-income communities and veterans with mental health needs, announced the Arkansas Department of Human Services. These initiatives were approved by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Steering Committee to help offset the negative impacts of the public health emergency using federal CARES Act funds. Applications from eligible organizations will be accepted through Nov. 18, 2020.

To be eligible for funding through either initiative organizations must:

-Demonstrate a mission or vision to advance equity and address needs for high-poverty communities or be a non-profit veteran service organization that serves Arkansas veterans

-Show a history of service to these populations and clear strategies for engagement with members of the community

-Have leadership and staff who are representative of the populations served by the initiatives

-Have been in operation since March 1, 2019

Low-Income Community Support

Many community organizations have seen less donations due to the pandemic, but low-income communities in Arkansas still rely on these organizations for food, clothing, rent, transportation, and help finding a job. CARES Act funding for nonprofit and community organizations serving low-income and minority communities can help overcome infrastructure challenges that limit access. Organizations may apply to receive up to $10,000 to serve high-poverty areas in Arkansas.

Veterans’ Mental Health

The CARES Act Steering Committee also approved $3.4 million to fund supportive programs and services for veterans and their families that provide mental health services, outreach and education, and crisis intervention for veterans experiencing mental health issues during the public health emergency.

The pandemic has caused many Arkansans to experience negative mental and behavioral health outcomes. This program aims to make sure there are targeted efforts underway to support Arkansas veterans and connect them to services in their communities. Eligible organizations may apply to get funding to support veterans experiencing mental health conditions based on the organization’s size and role in the mental health system.

Applications for both programs must be submitted by Nov. 18, 2020, and funds must be used or distributed based on the organization's plan by Dec. 30, 2020.