Several local nonprofits will soon be gifted with much needed COVID-19 relief aid.

After being awarded a second round of funding in the amount of $122,942 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the city of Elizabethtown selected nine local agencies to receive the Community Development Block Grant funding, which was made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The nine nonprofits, named at Monday’s Elizabethtown City Council meeting, include: Wesley Hilltop House, $20,000; PURE Inc., $10,000; Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland, $16,800; SpringHaven, $12,825; CASA of the Heartland, $18,170; Mission Hope for Kids, $15,147; Salvation Army, $10,000; Warm Blessings, $15,000; and New Creative Solutions Youth Foundation, $10,000.

Norma Hatfield, executive director of CASA of the Heartland, said the pandemic affected them as it did many other nonprofits and businesses.

“This grant is a blessing that will help us in our service to the children and families right here in Elizabethtown. We are very grateful to be a recipient of these funds and to serve those who need us the most,” she said.

During Monday’s meeting, Mayor Jeff Gregory thanked Elizabethtown Planning and Development Director Jim Shaw and Grants Administrator Melissa Harrell-Nepi for working on the grants. He said they met last week and went over the nine applications.

“All very deserving (nonprofits) that do a lot of really good work for our community. We’re thrilled to be able to get this money and then to administer it to these very deserving organizations,” he said.

SpringHaven Executive Director Tanya Thomas said the funds will go directly to keeping the shelter open and free of COVID.

“We are eternally grateful for the opportunity and the award amount,” she said.

Thomas said they will purchase more stationary hand-sanitizing machines, Rapid tests, since they are doing their own testing on-site, more gloves, and masks. The funding also will enable them to have a third-party company come more than once a week to disinfect the entire shelter.

“Domestic violence presents itself at all hours of the day and night, so we have to be prepared. Keeping residents, staff safe and healthy from the unknown is the biggest challenge we all have had to endure,” she said. “I am very humbled and grateful to the city for the opportunity for this CDBG Grant, all COVID and CARES money has been exhausted., so this had come just in time.”

Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland Executive Director Jamie Sizemore said the additional funding will be used to purchase food and conduct Mobile Food Pantries within Elizabethtown neighborhoods.

“This project is really a partnership between the City of Elizabethtown and Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland to feed struggling families and seniors during this pandemic. It will take time for households to financially recover from this crisis so they continue to make tough choices between paying rent, buying medicine or putting food on the table,” she said. “We commend Mayor Jeff Gregory and the Elizabethtown City Council for recognizing that supporting these families’ nutritional needs is critical for long term recovery.”

The funds are expected to be administered in the coming weeks.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1417 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com

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