OCRA awards next round of COVID relief

Money to aid jobs, food and web access


INDIANAPOLIS — Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced Monday that an additional 80 Hoosier communities will receive more than $18.6 million in federal grant funding through OCRA’s COVID-19 Response Grant Program.

“This grant program has already provided support to more than 600,000 Hoosiers across our state,” Crouch said. “This round we expanded the COVID-19 Response Grant Program so we can continue helping Hoosiers, their families and their businesses recover from the pandemic.”

More than $1.1 million was awarded to Bainbridge, Greencastle, Jamestown, Putnam County and Thorntown to provide grants to small businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Parke County will receive $250,000 to fund the Food Security Alliance of Parke County to address food insecurity. Tippecanoe County is receiving $127,075 to install three new WiFi hotspots in the county, allowing residents to walk up or pull up in vehicles and connect to the internet while also following social distancing recommendations.

In April 2020, OCRA began addressing COVID-19 impact on Indiana communities. Last year, 112 grants were awarded to 96 communities, totaling more than $20.9 million.

“Based on additional research and community feedback, OCRA was able to open this round to municipalities of all sizes and expanded eligible activities,” said Denny Spinner, executive director of OCRA. “With a focus on assisting small businesses, expanding food bank and pantry services, and providing essential mental health services, these grants will impact Hoosiers and communities that are on the road to recovery.”

For this round, eligible applicants include non-entitlement and entitlement local units of government could apply for up to $250,000. Eligible activities include mental health services, childcare services, public WiFi locations, food pantry or bank services, subsidence payment programs, or grants or loans to businesses to retain low-to-moderate income jobs.

Funding for the COVID-19 Response Phase 3 funding is derived from Indiana’s CARES Act allocation.


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