To combat difficulties facing communities in the wake of COVID-19, President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) on March 11, 2021. This federal initiative will stimulate the American economy, support residents, and curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
From the ARPA package, Cook County received more than $1 billion to be allocated over three fiscal years. The distribution of these funds will build on equity best practices and use the County's six policy pillars as a guide. So what does this mean for the residents of Cook County? Put simply, it means investment in communities as we look to recovery from COVID-19.
It means investing $100 million in vital communities, which will include funding for small businesses, household assistance, housing assistance, and workforce development.
It means supporting safe and thriving communities with an infusion of $60 million to focus on violence prevention, alternatives to incarceration, services for those in the justice system, and emergency preparedness.
It means investing $60 million to support healthy communities via healthcare, mental and behavioral health, and addressing food insecurity.
It means a $40 million investment in smart communities, focusing on transportation, water infrastructure, and digital equity.
It means protecting our futures with a $25 million allocation for sustainable communities that will explore environmental justice and pollution prevention.
This is an ambitious undertaking, but it is one that is necessary. This infusion of funds is being thoughtfully applied to benefit all residents of Cook County in a way that will bring about lasting change. Interested in digging deeper into the programs that will be implemented with ARPA funds over the next three years? The ARPA At A Glance summary below has you covered.