Mesa to use stimulus to help nonprofits - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Mesa to use stimulus to help nonprofits

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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2009 7:07 pm | Updated: 2:37 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Mesa is planning to infuse some stimulus money in the local economy as a way to help nonprofits that work with low income families and the homeless. The City Council said at a Thursday meeting that $242,699 remaining from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would find its way to worthy public programs.

Mesa is planning to infuse some stimulus money in the local economy as a way to help nonprofits that work with low income families and the homeless.

The City Council said at a Thursday meeting that $242,699 remaining from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would find its way to worthy public programs.

The council decided Thursday to recommend that the money, part of federal entitlement funds for city programs totaling $4.7 million, be available for nonprofit organizations to use. Some of the organizations eligible to apply, such as Save The Family and the Marc Center, are facing 30 percent cuts in city funding.

Groups eligible for funding would have to be involved in a range of activities in the community, such as rehabilitation of homes, homebuyer assistance, code enforcement and economic development, among others.

The council has not decided on distributing the funds, which will benefit a neighborhood stabilization initiative in the city, among other services.

Councilman Dave Richins asked "of the allocated amount, how much would be used for the program and how much would go toward administrative costs?"

Housing and Revitalization Director Carolyn Olson answered: "Only 5 percent of the money was authorized for administrative use."

Richins said he wanted to avoid a scenario where too much money was used to administer the distribution of aid, or "spending a million to push $3 million out on the street.

"We need to be much more efficient than that in getting these dollars out on the street," he said.

Olson said that part of the funds that come from the $4.7 million would be used to combat homelessness, and come with requirements such as income restrictions and verification of income.

"This is to help those families out there that have lost their jobs or are behind on rent," Olson said. "This is for those folks who have fallen through the cracks."

A public hearing concerning the use of the funds and a council meeting will be held May 4.

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