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City of Omaha ARPA Community Grant Program
Covid-19 disproportionately impacted historically disadvantaged communities, compounding health and economic disparities. To help alleviate hardships and equity gaps exacerbated by the pandemic, the City of Omaha allocated $15 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for community grants.
Based on community feedback and how highlighted needs intersected with ARPA’s federal requirements, the City of Omaha partnered with the Omaha Community Foundation to assist in developing and administering the City of Omaha ARPA Community Grant Program.*
The City of Omaha ARPA Community Grant Program awarded $9.6 million to 36 nonprofits, which will be distributed from 2022 to 2024. View program descriptions.
The City of Omaha was awarded $112 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Congress passed the $1.9 trillion stimulus package in March 2021 for Covid-19 response and recovery efforts. The bill included $350 billion for eligible state, local, and tribal governments.
Earlier this year, Mayor Jean Stothert announced the City’s initial ARPA distribution would include grants to community programs managed by Omaha nonprofits that are located in a Qualified Census Tract, provide services to program participants living in a QCT, or demonstrate the pandemic has had significant health or economic impact on its program participants.
QCTs are used to identify communities with a large proportion of low-income residents. These are areas designated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development where at least 50% of households have an income below 60% of the area median gross income, or a poverty rate of at least 25%.
The City of Omaha ARPA Community Grant Program focused on providing funding to expand or enhance existing programs in areas of Crisis Intervention & Violence Prevention, and Workforce Development. Eligible programs included youth programs such as mentoring, gang prevention and intervention, mental health, crisis response, and assistance to unemployed workers including workforce readiness training, certification, and employment services.
Applications were accepted February 15 through April 1, 2022. The Foundation offered training and technical assistance to eligible organizations to help navigate federal guidelines and requirements.
Overview of Selection Process
The City of Omaha ARPA Community Grant Program received 145 applications, totaling $55.8 million in requested funds. Each application underwent a thorough review process to ensure eligibility, completion, alignment with the program guidelines, and satisfaction of specific criteria.
The grant review committees were composed of OCF staff members, city employees, and community members. Community members included current and former participants of our Community Interest Funds grant committees, some of whom reside in QCTs.
A total of 36 applications met the requirements of the program and satisfied five key investment criteria that included the following:
- The organization proposes to expand or enhance existing programming.
- The organization has a proven record of success within the focus area.
- The program has significant impact in the community.
- The program demonstrates sustainability beyond the grant period.
- The program addresses a significant community need related to Covid-19.
*This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP0230 awarded to the City of Omaha by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.