Nassau County nonprofits and service providers were allocated nearly $18 million in grants as part of a $63 million funding package from the American Rescue Plan stimulus bill, county officials announced last week.
Included in the $17.9 million available are $1.4 million to expand youth services, $2.1 million to expand programs in the Office of Aging, and $3.4 million to enhance behavioral health programs.
Another $10 million is set aside for not-for-profit organizations that serve Nassau but are not officially under contract with the county. County officials said those funds will aid populations in Nassau that suffer from food insecurity, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect.
“From food resources, to domestic violence support, to substance abuse programs, the demand for nonprofits’ services skyrocketed during the pandemic,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. “I thank the leaders of these agencies and my Economic Advisory Council for their ongoing work to ensure the most efficient use of this funding.”
In late June, the Nassau County Legislature unanimously passed the $62.9 million proposal put forth by Curran to help the county’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Curran said $30 million will be equally distributed to the Boost Nassau Main Street Small Business Grant Program, the Boost Nassau Small Business Loan Program and to workforce development.
The two Boost Nassau programs will use the funds to support and promote a variety of local businesses and downtown shopping districts. An additional $2.5 million will be used for technical assistance along with miscellaneous staffing supplies and advertisements for the Boost Nassau programs, officials said.
Youth programs will get $1.4 million, or a 20 percent increase, in contracts with nonprofit agencies that provide a variety of services to youth including educational and academic support, after-school programs, counseling, youth employment and recreational programs.
Officials said the bill will also allocate $3 million to a new Septic System Replacement Fund, which will reimburse property and small-business owners who replace their aging cesspools. An additional $6 million will go toward a multi-year regional groundwater program.
“As our region continues to recover from the pandemic, Nassau County took a key step today toward delivering crucial support for initiatives that will strengthen our small businesses, protect the environment, and bolster important health and social services programs that benefit Nassau County’s veterans, seniors and youth,” Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said last month.
Organizations and services are able to apply for the grants through the county’s Boost Nassau online portal.
“With our sophisticated new portal, we are fast-tracking federal funds to the organizations that will help keep our most vulnerable residents healthy, safe, and independent — giving them a vital boost as we work to recover from the impacts of the pandemic,” Curran, a Democrat, said.