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DuPage Foundation

DuPage County Establishes Partnership with DuPage Foundation to Distribute ARPA Funds

The DuPage County Board has given the DuPage Foundation the green light to implement and manage a program to dispense $10 million in American Rescue Act Plan Act (ARPA) funds that will benefit the county’s social services organizations and their efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Tuesday’s county board meeting, officials approved an agreement to solidify the partnership between the two agencies. The funds are meant to benefit communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

“We look forward to working with the DuPage Foundation and our area non-profit organizations, as together, we help our county residents emerge from the pandemic,” DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said in a statement.

The DuPage Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved the agreement on January 13.

“DuPage Foundation is DuPage County’s community foundation and philanthropic leader and we are thrilled the County selected us as a partner to administer a grant program of this magnitude,” DuPage Foundation President & CEO Dave McGowan said in a statement. “We appreciate the trust in the Foundation as these funds will significantly increase our impact so we can more aptly meet the needs of our community still reeling from the debilitating effects of the pandemic. Raising the quality of life throughout DuPage County has been our vision since the Foundation’s inception in 1986. We are proud to continue advancing our work and share our expertise in grantmaking through this partnership.”

Signed into law on March 11, 2021, ARPA will help provide the county with access to relief package spending valued at $179,266,585. Of that amount, about half was received May 17, 2021.

Community Partnership

Under the agreement, the county identifies the DuPage Foundation as a partner that will help administer how grant funds are used to address issues with food insecurity, housing instability, mental health and substance abuse. The funds must be allocated by December 31, 2024 and spent by December 31, 2026.

County Board action to implement the grant program comes on the heels entering into a prior agreement in October 2021 with DuPage Foundation to allocate $10.6 million. Around that time, both agencies decided to start drafting a plan for the funds. It was determined that the DuPage Foundation will receive $600,000 over a five-year period to implement and manage the program.

How It Works

A planning committee, led by the DuPage Foundation, will be tasked with establishing rules and guidelines for the grant program, as well as determining how frequent grants are distributed. Interested applicants will be able to find more information on the Foundation’s website in the spring.

“All of the not-for-profit organizations who work within social services have been inundated and overwhelmed for nearly two years, and have done everything possible to respond to the COVID-19 health emergency, as we have seen in our Community Needs grant applications,” Barb Szczepaniak, DuPage Foundation vice president for programs, said in a statement. “The ARPA grant program is a wonderful endeavor for the Foundation as we seek to scale our impact throughout DuPage County and beyond, and it creates an opportunity for us to really make meaningful differences where they are most needed.”

Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.

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