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Nassau throws out $17.9M lifeline to county's nonprofits, health and human services agencies

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Wednesday that

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Wednesday that the county is allocating almost $18 million from the federal American Rescue Plan to help the nonprofit sector and health and human service agencies meet client needs. Credit: Danielle Silverman

Nonprofit organizations and health and human service agencies in Nassau County can now apply for nearly $18 million in federal stimulus money for a wide range of programs, such as support for youth, veterans, mental health, domestic abuse victims, the elderly and more, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Wednesday.

"We knew when this pandemic hit...that there would be many crises along with the health crisis," Curran said.

She listed problems that were exacerbated by the pandemic, such as food insecurity, noting that applications for food stamps "tripled in one month" at the height of the pandemic, as well as domestic violence and substance abuse.

"With all of these issues and problems, we really did see a huge demand on our nonprofit network," Curran said. "These are the folks who provide hope for the hopeless...We know the important, lifesaving role that they play in so many of our families’ lives."

The county is allocating $17.9 million of federal funds it received from the American Rescue Plan to help the nonprofit sector and health and human service agencies meet client needs.

Agencies can apply on the county’s recently-developed online portal, nassaucountyny.gov/BoostNassau, Curran said at a news conference outside the Bethpage office of The Safe Center LI, which helps domestic abuse victims. County officials said they will also take applications in person.

Regina Williams, resource manager for the Boost Nassau Resource Center, located in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, said a multilingual staff has been added to help people apply for the rescue plan funding. Agencies needing application assistance can call 516-572-2888.

"We’ll either walk you through the intake form or we’ll schedule an appointment with you," Williams said.

Curran said that of the $17.9 million, almost $7 million in grants is to be directed toward the county’s existing health and human service providers and nonprofits that have contracts with the county, specifically:

* $1.4 million for an expansion of youth services

* $2.1 million for an expansion of Office of the Aging programs

* $3.4 million for behavioral health programs

Approximately $10 million of the remaining grant money has been earmarked for not-for-profits that serve Nassau residents but are not contracted with the county, as well as $1 million for new veterans’ support programs, Curran said.

Curran said more federal stimulus money is coming next year.

The toll the pandemic has taken has been considerable, said officials from The Safe Center LI.

"The pandemic has tested our resiliency, as individuals and as a community," said Josh Hanson, the center’s associate executive director. "It has demanded incredible sacrifice from each of us. But it’s also shown how far we can rise to meet adversity, and the depth of our commitment to our neighbors."

While praising medical professionals and first responders for their work during the pandemic, Hanson highlighted "the important work of our community agencies and their staff, who are first responders in their own right." For example, he said The Safe Center’s staff, who provided emergency and safety services, could not work from home and continued to care for clients on site.

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

Nassau County will distribute nearly $18 million in grants to nonprofits and health and human service agencies to enhance a variety of community programs, such as for youth, the elderly, mental health, substance abuse, food insecurity and more.

Apply online at nassaucountyny.gov/BoostNassau or call for assistance at 516-572-2888.

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