How nearly $3 million in COVID relief grants could impact Erie


A domestic violence shelter in Erie, neighborhood centers, faith groups and neighborhood improvement organizations are among those set to receive about $2.9 million in funding from the city’s U.S. bailout. Erie.

The money was set aside by Erie Mayor Joe Schamber’s administration for various community development projects as part of a detailed framework to distribute much of the $76 million share of ARP funds from the city.

Erie City Council is expected to approve the grants at the regular committee meeting Wednesday morning. They were recommended by a committee established by the city to review applications for ARP funding.

The grants are intended to help members of the Erie community who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

City Council has already approved the largest allocation from the funding pool — $675,000 — to help Eagle’s Nest Leadership Corp. to build a gymnasium and recreation facilities on its campus in the 1100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue on the east side of town.

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The association helps young people at risk. City Council approved funding for the Eagle’s Nest on January 5.

The second largest community development grant, $306,000, is recommended for SafeNet, 1702 French St., which provides a variety of programs and assistance for victims of domestic violence.

Robyn Young, executive director of SafeNet, said the money will be used to make repairs, including a new roof and drainage system, to the Neighborhood Partnership Center, a SafeNet facility at 254 E. 10th St.

Robyn Young, Executive Director of SafeNet.

“We’ve been very busy (during the pandemic),” Young said. “A lot of people were stuck at home and a lot of times domestic violence really thrives behind closed doors.”

Additionally, $255,000 would go to the Minority Community Investment Coalition – a group made up of the Booker T. Washington Center, Martin Luther King Center and John F. Kennedy Center as well as the Eastside Grassroots Coalition.

MCIC wants to create a youth development fund that would focus on mentoring, job training, career development, academic support, financial literacy, arts and cultural education, and many other programs.

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Gary Horton, executive director of the Urban Erie Community Development Corp., said the goal was to help vulnerable Erie “good kids” avoid crime and other negative behaviors.

Gary Horton, executive director of the Urban Erie Community Development Corp.

Horton is also part of the Eastside Grassroots Coalition, along with the House of Mercy’s Sisters of Mercy and the Burton-Diehl Neighborhood Organization.

MCIC is also seeking financial support from the Erie Community Foundation and the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority for its Youth Development Fund.

Renee Lamis, Schamber’s chief of staff, said 54 funding applications had been submitted. Some were disqualified because they were incomplete, submitted by a group that was not a nonprofit or community organization, and/or were located outside of the city of Erie.

The committee also prioritized projects aimed at diversity, equity and inclusion.

See other recommended grant recipients

Other recommended grant recipients are:

  • Bodhi Garden Initiative, $250,000, for programs/projects related to food security.
  • Our West Bayfront, $250,000, for operations, tools, equipment and emergency repairs.
  • Bayfront NATO Inc., $150,000, for workforce development programs.
  • Booker T. Washington Center, $150,000, to increase career awareness and opportunities for economically disadvantaged students.
  • Erie Arts & Culture, $150,000, for a multi-site mural project in the city.
  • Gaudenzia Foundation, $150,000, for the renovation of its detox center.
  • Youth Leadership Institute of Erie, $102,046, to help expand its youth programs.
  • Sarah A. Reed Home, $75,000 for her summer youth program.
  • Climate Changers Inc., $65,000, for exterior renovations to the program’s existing building at 314 E.11th St. The organization focuses on helping incarcerated people successfully reintegrate into society.
  • Christian Ministries of the Apostolic Faith Church, $60,206, for co-working space for low-income residents looking to start and grow their own businesses.
  • Dafmark Dance Theatre, $57,100, for community outreach programs that serve economically disadvantaged youth, including free classes in drama, dance, music, film and art.
  • The Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network, $55,000 for a housing program for low-to-moderate income applicants disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
  • Child Development Centers Inc., $45,000 to help develop an early childhood education program for families who live near the former Roosevelt Middle School in the 2300 block of Cranberry Street.
  • Erie Center for Arts & Technology, $50,000, for programming that includes youth basketball camps, teen visual arts classes, and community events to help young people who live in ZIP Codes 16503 and 16501 in eastern Erie.
  • John F. Kennedy Center, $24,148, for electrical upgrades to its Kid’s Café, janitorial services, and additional personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to protect against COVID-19.
  • Multicultural Health Evaluation Delivery System, $20,500, to improve the understanding and capacity of immigrants and refugees working in the local health system.
  • St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church, $10,000, for repairs to the boiler and heating system.

“Some of these projects can be really transformational,” Lamis said.

The city received a $76 million allocation from the $1.9 trillion U.S. federal bailout stimulus bill, signed into law last year by President Joe Biden to aid recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.

Schamber has already received approval from the Erie City Council to use more than $53 million of that money for various blight-focused projects; rehabilitation of housing, support for businesses and entrepreneurs; fund environmental cleanups; hiring public security/police; improvement of parks/creation of new green spaces, and a host of other initiatives.

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However, individual grant recommendations must also be approved by the board.

City Council meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Bagnoni Council Chambers at City Hall, 626 State St. The meeting can be viewed on the city’s YouTube page.

Contact Kevin Flowers at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @ETNflowers.


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