As the COVID-19 pandemic drags onward, Brooklyn Center is considering providing emergency funding for nonprofits in the city.
The move comes after the Brooklyn Center City Council allocated $30,000 from its general fund to support Community Emergency Assistance Programs, the Center for Asian Pacific Islanders and West African Family and Community Services on March 17.
Many Minnesotans have found themselves out of work, furloughed or laid-off during the pandemic, and the need for emergency assistance has increased as a result.
Following a $5,000 funding request from the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota, Brooklyn Center’s city staff members decided to propose a larger grant program that could assist other nonprofits operating in the city.
While city staff members proposed funding the program at a $10,000 total, Councilmember April Graves asked that the total be increased to $12,000 when the council discussed the program at its May 4 work session.
Through the program, if the $12,000 rate is approved, each organization would be able to access up to $3,000, allow the city to support at least four nonprofits. The three organizations that were already allocated funds would be ineligible for this allocation.
To be eligible, the applicant must be a nonprofit or charitable agency providing existing services to Brooklyn Center’s residents. The funds must be used to provide emergency resources to Brooklyn Center residents and could be used for costs such as food, shelter and other critical life or safety needs identified by the organization. The organization must also be able to spend all of this grant funding by Sept. 1, 2020.
The city’s staff members would use a scoring system to determine which agencies would be selected for funding.
The system is based on the system Brooklyn Park used to determine allocations to emergency agencies during March. Out of a total of 30 points, 10 would be assigned if the proposed use of funds fills a visible life or safety need in Brooklyn Center. Another 10 would be related to the organization’s reputation and experience providing emergency services. The final 10 would address an organization’s ability to implement its plan in a timely manner.
If awarded a grant, an organization would need to provide an email update after one month summarizing how funds are being used. A more detailed report would be required after three months.
Applications would be due May 18 if the program is approved. Applicants would then advance to a view conference interview, enter into grant agreements and have funds available the week of June 1.
No council members spoke in opposition to the proposed program.
Follow Kevin Miller on Facebook at facebook.com/mnsunpost