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Community Action receives grant

By JOYANNA LOVE / MANAGING EDITOR

Community Action Partnership of Middle Alabama Inc. has received $793,918 as a state Community Services Block Grant.

The organization serves Elmore, Chilton, Autauga and Shelby counties.

Kendra Williams, executive director for Community Action Partnership of Middle Alabama, said $174,041 will specifically go to Chilton County.

Of these funds, “50% of it will go to direct services, and the other will be on PPE (personal protective equipment) supplies and other (supporting) services,” Williams said.

Direct services includes monetary assistance to the community and “will be used to strengthen partnerships with area food banks, food and prescription, local schools Agri-Science programs, provide fresh produce for local residents, senior services, establish new partnerships, provide rental assistance, staff training, additional staff, new technology, etc.”

The grants were made possible from funds released to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a part of the federal CARES Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The income threshold of those who can qualify for assistance has been increased for the Community Services Block Grant to help those who may be facing a hard time due to the pandemic.

Williams said those making 200% of the poverty income level will be eligible to apply for assistance under this act. For example, a family of four could have an annual income of up to $52,400 and qualify for funds under this grant. An individual could have an annual income of up to $25,530.

Williams encouraged all of those who think they may qualify to contact the organization.

“Especially with the rent (assistance) we have available now,” Williams said.

For more information on income qualification is available by calling Community Action Partnership of Middle Alabama Chilton County office at 205-755-1204 or emailing Williams at K.Williams@capmal.org.

“Once you secure your appointment you can send your required documentation via fax, US mail, email or you can call ahead for curbside services,” Williams said.

Application for assistance can be made over the phone, in person by setting up an appointment, online at https://littliteal.azurewebsites.net or the organization’s app.

“We are making it very flexible to all constituents,” Williams said.

She said the office will make special accommodations for seniors and those with disabilities.

Some of the new technology expected to be purchased with the grant funds is a part of implementing new application options.

In Chilton County, Community Action averages 20 requests for assistance per day.

The Chilton County office is located at 116 Chilton Place in Clanton. The office is open to the public 8 a.m. to. 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

According to a release from Gov. Kay Ivey’s Office, more than $17 million in Community Services Block Grants have been awarded in the state “to provide relief for Alabamians who faced unemployment and economic difficulties as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.”

“COVID-19 has disrupted lives in many ways and in varying degrees,” Ivey said. “It is my hope that the services provided by these funds will help people as they work toward a quick and complete economic recovery.”

The grants will be administered through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.