Plans to Distribute CARES Act Funding to Nine Organizations, City Council Still Needs to Approve Final Plans

A second round of federal CARES Act funding is on the way to Duluth. City leaders are now finalizing how to use that money to address various needs related to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

DULUTH, Minn. – A second round of federal CARES Act funding is on the way to Duluth. City leaders are now finalizing how to use that money to address various needs related to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

About $1.2 million of this funding will be emergency solutions grant funds. Another half a million will be community development block grants.

Current plans have this money being distributed to nine different organizations around Duluth.

These places do things like help provide services to help young people with academic programming and also assist with keeping people housed during the winter months.

Plans also call for the Lincoln Park Community Center on West 3rd STreet to be turned into a permanent warming center using part of this funding.

For the past three years during the winter months, there have been temporary shelters for people. The change would make this location consistently available for people looking to stay warm.

“The city has received an allocation that have far exceeds any type of emergency solution grant funding that it has in the past,” said Jill Keppers, the executive director of the Duluth Housing and Redevelopment Authority. “So it’s created this great opportunity for us to really make a dent and do some big projects that can really help our families experiencing homelessness.”

The remodeling would make it possible to use the entire lower level of the community center as a warming shelter and also include hygiene facilities for residents experiencing homelessness.

“Some of these projects will help to create more space at shelters and help people feel comfortable going there so we think it is going to help meet peoples’ needs a lot better,” said Ben VanTassel, the manager at the City of Duluth planning and development division.

Some other organizations on the list to receive CARES Act money include Duluth HRA, the Damiano Center, AICHO, Safe Haven, and CHUM. The city council still needs to approve final funding plans.

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