FILE: Spokane is a booming Washington city

In this photo taken June 4, 2018, the downtown skyline is shown from the South Hill in Spokane, Wash., the state's second-largest city that is rapidly growing. 

(The Center Square) – The Spokane County commissioners voted Tuesday to split $2.3 million in federal stimulus funds among six nonprofits seeking to help at-risk youth and families overcome a variety of hardships.

In addition, Commissioners Al French, Mary Kuney and Josh Kerns awarded about $2.3 million to three service providers in the public health category of American Rescue Plan funds. That brings total allocations to date of $42.2 million from $101 million received by the county last year, according to Jeff McMorris, community engagement and policy advisor.

“We are getting a lot of things done for our community,” he told The Center Square.

These nonprofits were given the green light Oct. 4 to receive ARP funds:

  • The Ronald McDonald House was awarded $37,500 to install a new HVAC system and make other capital improvements. For 35 years, this charity has provided Inland Northwest families with a home-away-from-home when their ill children are receiving medical services at Shriner’s Hospital and other medical facilities.
  • Spokane Meals on Wheels was awarded $134,000 to help cover inflationary food costs of senior lunches. 
  • United Family Services was the recipient of $351,385 to improve its playground for children with disabilities and other capital projects. This organization assists families and youth in crisis, as well as children in the foster care system.
  • Pioneer Human Services was granted $300,000 to replace the roof on its Spokane facility. The nonprofit headquartered in Seattle with a local affiliate helps formerly incarcerated people reintegrate back into society.
  • Camp Fire Inland Northwest was given $210,700 to plan and execute after-school programs in youth development, with a special emphasis on diversity and inclusion.
  • AHANA received $1 million to continue its work supporting and advocating for multi-ethnic and multi-cultural businesses.

McMorris said when the county opened the nonprofit category, 45 applications were submitted but some fit better under some of the other 79 classifications. These proposals were rerouted and awards also made Oct. 4 in the $2.3 million public health category: CHAS Health, $505, 854; the Spokane Regional Health District, $1.39 million; and Good News Dental, $428,000.

The commission also gave the green light to use $9.6 million of ARP funds to replace revenue the local government lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. That money will pay for capital improvements on public buildings.

McMorris said seven applications that were moved to the $4.5 million affordable housing category will be scored this week and assigned funding amounts. He said six applications were also placed in the $5 million economic impact assistance category, which is still open for applications until next Wednesday.

Also open to applicants at this time is the $5 million community violence intervention category and the $2 million tourism, travel and hospitality category.

Soon to open is the $10 million category for more water and sewer projects, and $12 million for the strong and healthy communities’ category that encourages new parks and green spaces.

Funds can be awarded until 2024 and all contracted work must be done by the end of 2026. Any unused funds must then be returned to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“It’s been working well,” said McMorris about the software system the county put in place to monitor ARP awards and track expenditures and reimbursements.

The county posts all ARP awards on its website, spokanecounty.org.