Board of Supervisors extends American Rescue Plan Act funding for community projects

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday extended American Rescue Plan Act funding for community-based organizations that have supported thousands of Sonoma County residents through programs that bolster food security, provide job training, strengthen mental health, expand rural broadband and many other local programs.

The Board committed a second year of ARPA funds to the Career Technical Education Foundation and tentatively funded 25 other community projects.

The community projects were initially selected in May 2022 to receive money from ARPA, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 2021 to help people who suffered the most during the COVID-19 pandemic while strengthening community organizations that are best positioned to serve the county’s most marginalized residents.

The Human Services Department and the Office of Equity was asked by the Board of Supervisors to distribute funding through community-based groups that had previously not worked with the county before but served communities that were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The staff used an Anti-Racist Results-Based Accountability framework to deepen contractor-funder relationships, improve client outcomes, and monitor program progress.

“With nearly $40 million in federal ARPA funding, the county and its partner organizations are transforming the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “In distributing these funds, we focused on equity – investing in areas of the community that need it the most.”

Overall, Sonoma County received $96 million from ARPA, which was divided into three categories: COVID-19 pandemic response, strategic investments in county services and cultural responsiveness, and the Community Resilience Program.

During the Board meeting, county staff provided an update on the results of those investments. ARPA has funded 487,000 meal equivalents delivered. Almost 450 people have received direct financial assistance. More than 100 people have received workforce development and career preparation training, and 175 people have received intensive mental health supports.

The 27 projects selected for the $39 million Community Resilience Program targeted a wide range of needs, including food and financial assistance, mental health services, housing and education.

The Community Resilience Program projects are:

  • Career Technical Education Foundation, which provides a rigorous, relevant career educational and professional development program at Elsie Allen High School.
  • Equitable Access California, which installs free public Wi-Fi in unincorporated West Sonoma County communities.
  • 10,000 Degrees, which gives financial aid and college application assistance for 12th graders at Santa Rosa and Piner high schools.
  • Latino Service Providers, a 12-month workforce development program placing participants in supported internships at partner agencies.
  • Santa Rosa Junior College’s wraparound job training support and internships in the construction industry.
  • First 5’s Guaranteed Basic Income pilot program, which provides families with young children $500 a month to increase economic stability and mobility.
  • On the Move, which provides financial assistance up to $3,000, comprehensive case management, and connection to a culturally competent, equitable network of community-based mental health partners.
  • Sonoma County Black Forum, which provides financial support up to $1,200 for rental assistance, utilities and food assistance.
  • Social Advocates for Youth Homelessness Consortium, which offers basic needs support for the unhoused and precariously housed.
  • Food for Thought, which delivers regular meals and/or groceries and wraparound nutrition services.
  • Farm to Pantry, which delivers nutritious, multi-farm food boxes from FEED Sonoma, a co-op of 80 small, local farmers.
  • Living Room, which delivers hot meals, pantry bags, snack packs, and offers job training for residents and participants.
  • Community Action Partnership, which increases the number of quality child care spaces by training new Head Start/Early Head Start teachers.
  • Cloverdale Mental Health Collaborative, which addresses the mental health needs of Cloverdale residents.
  • Guerneville School District’s Whole Family Health project, which addresses mental health and wellbeing among low-income communities of the Russian River area.
  • West County Community Services’ Transitions Program, offering peer-based recovery services.
  • Nuestra Comunidad, which provides mental health services and nutrition education to disproportionately affected communities.
  • Community Action Partnership’s Sonoma Connect program, which offers mental health support services.
  • Positive Images, which provides mental health services for LGBTQIA+ individuals in Sonoma County.
  • Social Advocates for Youth’s school mental health and grief services.
  • Sonoma County Black Forum’s Sonoma County Black Therapy Fund.
  • Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management’s long-term disaster recovery project.
  • California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, which provides business development assistance for traditional food businesses.
  • Santa Rosa Metro Chamber, which provides outreach and support services, education and access to capital to support small businesses.
  • Community Support Network’s program providing housing, housing navigation, and housing stabilization services, including case management.
  • Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California, which provides fair housing education and tenant organizing assistance.
  • Sonoma Applied Village Services’ Sonoma Transitional Housing project. This project was not approved for a second round of funding.

This second cycle of ARPA funding will run from Jan. 1 through the end of 2024. The Board of Supervisors authorized the director of the Human Services Department to extend funding for projects that demonstrate successful performance for an additional year through 2025.

Media Contact:
Matt Brown, Communications Specialist
(707) 565-3040
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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