City of Wheeling Awards Nonprofits More Than $1 Million in Pandemic Relief Funds | News, Sports, Jobs

Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott – File Photo

WHEELING — The city of Wheeling on Monday announced its list of recipients of federal pandemic relief money totaling more than $1 million, which is being allocated to local non-profit agencies through the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, with assistance from the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley.

Last year, Wheeling City Council allocated $1 million to the Community Foundation and United Way, which agreed to help review requests, select awardees and distribute this portion of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funding to area agencies. In total, 18 local nonprofits were selected to receive ARPA funds through this process.

Susie Nelson, executive director of the Community Foundation, explained that a committee of volunteers from CFOV and the United Way worked together over the past several months to review grant applications and select the recipients – a task that was not an easy one, she noted.

“Thirty five grant applications were received, totaling more than $2.4 million in requests,” Nelson said. “The review process was challenging, but that was expected with the knowledge of the many great nonprofit organizations in our city.”

Wheeling City Council, which received a total of around $29.5 million in federal pandemic relief funds through ARPA, last August made its allocation to the Community Foundation since it and the United Way work hand-in-hand with many of local nonprofit organizations that had submitted requests. City leaders said these organizations were best suited to determine the most appropriate way to distribute these funds since they are very familiar with the specific needs of many of these agencies.

“With such a surplus of worthy funding requests, we felt that the Community Foundation would be best positioned to assess the needs of the local agencies,” Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott said. “The city of Wheeling very much appreciates the partnership with the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley to help distribute $1 million of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds to local nonprofit organizations. We very much appreciate their assistance in making these important distributions of pandemic relief funds within the city.”

Officials noted that the total distribution by the CFOV/United Way selection process was $1,007,901. The overage of $7,901 will be covered by additional funds from the city’s ARPA allotment.

The recipients of the grants, their project names and the amount of the awards were:

    • Augusta Levy Learning Center – Growth, Education, Services, Partnership – $73,370.
    • CASA – CASA for Children Family Support – $80,000.
    • Catholic Charities of West Virginia – Emergency Rental Assistance – $30,000.
    • Children’s Home of Wheeling – Kitchen Install & Building Safety Upgrades at Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital for Children and Adolescents – $100,000.
    • Easterseals Rehabilitation Center – Improve Access to Healthcare for Children Disproportionately Impacted by COVID – $50,000.
    • Faith in Action Caregivers – Volunteer Match Program – $15,000.
    • Harmony House – Child Advocacy Center Model – $31,076.
    • HoH Share – Center for Resilient Community – $45,000.
    • Holy Family Child Care Center – Child Care Center Stabilization – $100,000.
    • House of the Carpenter – Post-Pandemic Food Security for At-Risk Populations.
    • Laughlin Community Center – HVAC Health Air – $56,700.
    • NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) Greater Wheeling – COVID-19 Mental Health – $46,100.
    • Ohio County Family Resource Network – Food Security Team Support – $33,655.
    • Salvation Army Wheeling – Salvation Army Renovation Project – $70,000.
    • Wheeling Health Right – Pandemic Recovery and Protection Plan – $100,000.
    • YMCA Wheeling – Clean Air Upgrades – $52,000.
    • Youth Services System – Employee Retention Initiative – $45,000.
    • YWCA Wheeling – Low Income Rental Assistance – $40,000.

Kathie Brown, executive director of Wheeling Health Right, said the one-time grant award will help them make important upgrades at their facility.

“We’re very excited to find out about that,” Brown said, noting that the $100,000 will be used on various projects, including the purchase of a new COVID vaccine refrigeration unit and to upgrade its computer systems with cyber security enhancements.

Brown said the allocation will also help Wheeling Health Right recoup some of the expenses from the pandemic, noting that the staff qualified as essential workers who provided essential health services to the community through the height of the crisis.

“We want to do as many upgrades as we can do,” she said. “We’re extremely excited, because it will be a huge help for us. We’re very grateful to the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley and for the city of Wheeling for recognizing the need and the importance of our services here in the community.”

Ashlie Kotson, community relations director for the Salvation Army of Wheeling, said the $70,000 ARPA award will go a long way to bring improvements to their agency’s services, as well.

“We’re extremely excited to get these funds,” Kotson said. “They will be used for our emergency shelter. We’re very thankful.”

The $50,000 allocation to the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center will help the agency continue its rehabilitative medical care and pediatric therapy for those in the Ohio Valley who truly need it.

“Easterseals is grateful to the committee for recognizing the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on children and adults with disabilities,” Betsy Bethel-McFarland, marketing director for Easterseals West Virginia in Wheeling, said. “Our award will help fund startup costs associated with adding a certified nurse practitioner to our medical team. This addition will accommodate the sharp increase we are seeing for treatment of children with developmental delays and disabilities.”

The selection process for the ARPA fund distribution to nonprofits began with the development of an application that was reflective of the strict regulations the U.S. Department of Treasury outlined regarding eligible uses. Nelson said a review committee made up of representatives of the Community Foundation and the United Way was selected, and once applications were received, they were scored based on their relation to COVID and community impact.

The scoring system took into consideration the number of people served and how relative the project was to community needs, sustainability of the project and expectations for success, and how transformative the project will be for the city of Wheeling.

“The Community Foundation put together a systematic and professional process to provide a fair opportunity for city nonprofits to apply for ARPA funds,” Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron said. “Their efforts have produced an excellent group of worthwhile programs and projects that will benefit our community for years to come.”

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