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City gets over $4M in COVID grant funding

Evanston officials say the money will support public health and community assistance programs related to the pandemic.

The Chandler-Newberger Center is to be used as a temporary housing location.

Mayor Steve Hagerty says Evanston has secured more than $4 million in local, state and federal grant funding to support public health and community assistance programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding includes grants from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund.

The money will reimburse the city for pandemic-related costs, including providing contact tracing, housing, emergency medical and transportation services and infection prevention and control.

“Since March, the City of Evanston has worked hand-in-hand with our federal, state, and county partners to obtain the funding necessary to eliminate the immediate threat to health, life, and safety posed by the pandemic,” Hagerty said. “These funds will help support our continued response to this pandemic as we work to meet our community’s needs and facilitate a safe and strong recovery.”

COVID-19 grants received by the City to date include:

  • Community Development Block Grant CARES Act (CDBG-CV), $1,080,243, for rental assistance, food, childcare and other necessities for low-income families who lost income due to COVID-19. In addition, the funds will support grants and technical assistance for small businesses (micro-enterprises), facilitate health and safety improvements for homeless shelters and provide the local share of FEMA Public Assistance Program funds distributed to the City.
  • Emergency Solutions Grant CARES Act (ESG-CV), $966,314, for rental assistance to move homeless families from temporary to permanent housing. Remaining funds will provide rent and utility assistance to prevent evictions due to loss of income.
  • Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 Contact Tracing Grant, $817,632, to support personnel expenses for Evanston Health and Human Services Department staff conducting contact tracing and providing other COVID-19 public health services and will help facilitate the hiring of additional staff.
  • Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund distributed by Cook County, $619,214, to support the City’s contact tracing efforts and pandemic response planning, as well as remote work and office retrofit expenses required to provide city services in compliance with public health guidelines.
  • Federal CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, $51,631, to support emergency medical transport and paramedic services provided by the Evanston Fire Department during the pandemic.
  • IDPH COVID-19 Crisis Grant, $58,457, to help reimburse overtime pay and expenses for Health and Human Services Department staff responding to COVID-19.
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Building Local Operational Capacity for COVID-19 Grant, $50,000, to enhance the city’s capacity to protect and respond to COVID-19, strengthen infection prevention and control practices at high-risk and long-term care facilities and increase coordination among local partners to bolster response.

In addition to these grants, the city has received preliminary approval for $1.1 million in FEMA Public Assistance Program funds, which will reimburse the city for eligible expenses incurred providing vulnerable community members with temporary housing, purchasing personal protective equipment and converting the Chandler-Newberger Community Center into a temporary housing location.

Approximately $828,000 will come from FEMA, with the remaining $276,000 in local matching funds coming from the city’s CDBG-CV funding. The first 50 percent ($414,000) of FEMA funding was received on Aug. 17.

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