News Column

Commissioners approve human services grant program

September 4, 2014

By Marcus Rauhut, Public Opinion, Chambersburg, Pa.



Sept. 04--CHAMBERSBURG -- The county is moving forward with a human services grant program funded by proceeds of the nursing home sale.

Commissioners on Thursday approved the Human Services Enhancement grant program, which makes a total of $300,000 available to profit and nonprofit agencies starting new programs. Individual grants will be capped at $50,000.

Carrie Gray, Franklin County assistant administrator, said preference will be given to projects that leverage other funding, collaborate with other agencies, or serve multiple areas of human services.

Based on the proposed timeline, the county would open the grant application period in mid-September and accept applications through mid-November.

Grant applications would be reviewed by a committee made up of Gray, Human Services Administrator Rick Wynn, Grants Director Shalom Black, and a yet-to-be-determined human services advocate, consumer or family member.

The committee would make its recommendations to the board of commissioners by early December.

"That's an aggressive review period, but it's important enough to make the task a priority," Gray said.

The hope is that commissioners would approve the grants in December so that the agencies can begin their new programs around February.

After the year-long grant period, agencies will be required to submit a report to the county assessing the efficacy of the program.

Last year, the county sold Falling Spring and Nursing Rehabilitation Center to Mid-Atlantic Health Care. After retiring debt on the facility, most of the proceeds of the sale went into a fund for capital projects, but $300,000 was set aside for a grant program for human services.

Officials said the idea is to provide start-up costs for new programs because many human service agencies have funding streams to sustain existing programs but few resources to launch new programs.

The grant program is intended to be a one-time project, but if there are remaining funds this year or there not enough qualified applicants, there will be a subsequent round of grants next year.

Marcus Rauhut can be reached at 262-4752.

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(c)2014 the Public Opinion (Chambersburg, Pa.)

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Source: Public Opinion (Chambersburg, PA)


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