The Gainesville City Commission voted Thursday to approve the $6.9 million in nonprofit funding that the Community Foundation of North Central Florida recommended.
The commission set aside $7 million of its $32 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for nonprofit assistance in October and contracted with the community foundation to create a proposal process in January.
“It was important for the city to set aside nearly a third of the money that we received to go directly to our nonprofit agencies,” Mayor Lauren Poe said at Thursday’s meeting.
The proposal process netted 46 applications that totaled roughly $17 million in funding requests, meaning only nine applicants received the full amount requested.
Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut made the motion to accept the community foundation’s recommendation and asked that the remaining $18,000 be used by the foundation to assist nonprofits over the next year.
She also asked that staff consider providing the nonprofits with the funds upfront instead of reimbursing the organizations.
Jon DeCarmine, director of GRACE Marketplace, made the request for upfront payment during public comment.
“Many of these organizations will be doing transformative work,” DeCarmine said. “It is nearly impossible for this to be both capacity building and done on a reimbursement basis.”
Both Chestnut and Commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker expressed support for the upfront funding, but officials noted that the city opens itself up to hurt if it gives all the money without ways to ensure it is spent according to federal guidelines.
Poe asked for the motion to allow staff to consider the points and bring back recommendations on the reimbursable versus upfront options as well as the use of the remaining $18,000.
Chestnut agreed to take the two issues up at next week’s General Policy Committee meeting.
Commissioner David Arreola seconded the motion and also asked that the commission direct staff to look for ways to fund two organizationsthe community foundation did not include in its recommendation—the Human Rights Coalition of Alachua County for its community ID program and Gainesville 4 All’s Empowerment Center.
He said the money could come from outside grants or organizations and noted the city’s pivotal role in the community ID program to date.
The nonprofit recipients include the following entities:
- Alachua Conservation Trust – $20,000
- Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry – $750,000
- Alachua County Health Promotion and Wellness Coalition – $115,028
- Alachua County Organization for Rural Needs, Inc., d/b/a ACORN Clinic – $64,598
- Alachua Habitat for Humanity – $196,513
- Bread of the Mighty Food Bank – $477,534
- Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention – $10,000
- Catholic Charities Gainesville – $409,270
- CDS, Family & Behavioral Health Services – $138,154
- Created Gainesville – $20,000
- Episcopal Children’s Services – $443,521
- Family Promise of Gainesville, Florida, Inc. – $268,520
- First Love Yourself, Inc. – $10,000
- FL Institute for Workforce Innovation, d/b/a Project YouthBuild – $422,522
- Food4Kids Backpack Program of North Florida, Inc. – $20,000
- Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association, d/b/a Aces In Motion – $20,000
- Gainesville Community Counseling Center – $284,698
- Gainesville Housing Development and Management Corporation – $20,000
- Gainesville Opportunity Center – $97,637
- Girls on the Run of Alachua County – $20,000
- -Girls Place, Inc. – $209,995
- Kids Count in Alachua County – $113,904
- Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. – $151,773
- Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, Inc. – $10,000
- NAMI Gainesville, Inc. – $20,000
- Neighborhood Housing & Development Corporation – $750,000
- North Central Florida YMCA, Inc. – $300,000
- Pace Center for Girls, Inc. Alachua – $300,000
- Peaceful Paths – $491,000
- Rebuilding Together North Central Florida – $20,000
- River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding – $98,400
- Rural Women’s Health Project – $240,165
- Star Center Theatre – $10,000
- University of Florida Mobile Outreach Clinic – $300,000
- Upper Room – $20,000
- Working Food – $138,090