ATLANTA — The Atlanta Regional Commission has disbursed $3.4 million in federal pandemic relief funds to expand the number of older individuals across metro Atlanta receiving services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including $156,765 for Henry County Senior Services. The funding is part of the CARES Act passed by Congress.
The funding will enable ARC to expand the number of people receiving services through its partners in several key areas:
• Social services and wellness support, including a new service providing emergency aid for materials such as groceries, personal care items, and technological tools that help people to perform daily activities
• Nutrition services such as home-delivered meals and food boxes
In the last fiscal year, ARC’s county and nonprofit partners served 137,386 individuals. The new funding allows for a 22% increase in funding for aging services and will help meet the increased needs of older people during the pandemic.
In addition, ARC will use the funds to expand some of the services that the agency provides directly, including coaching for individuals living in affordable housing with behavioral health needs and the launch of a volunteer-staffed telephone reassurance program to combat social isolation.
The funding comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress to protect Americans from COVID-19’s public health and economic impacts. As the federally designated Area Agency on Aging, ARC receives federal funding and partners within Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties.
“The generosity of Congress during this time means a great deal to our work,” said Becky Kurtz, managing director of ARC’s Aging & Independence Services. “CARES Act funding, combined with funding from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, passed earlier this year, represent a significant increase in the ability of ARC and our partners to provide services to older persons in our region. This population is disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, so the resources have been badly needed.”
ARC allocated the dollowing CARES Act funds:
Cherokee County Senior Services
Clayton County Senior Services
Cobb County Senior Services
DeKalb County Office of Aging
Douglas County Senior Services
Fulton County Department of Senior Services
Gwinnett County Senior Services
Henry County Senior Services
Rockdale County Senior Services
Atlanta Legal Aid Society
Center for Pan Asian Community Services
Innovative Solutions for Disadvantage and Disability
ARC’s Empowerline provides trained phone and online counselors who continue to help older individuals and their caregivers to get their needs met at empowerline.org and 404-463-3333.