October 22, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

$7.6 Mil in Grants Piggybacked to Santa Monica’s Budget:

Funds for the Human Services Grants Program (HSGP) and Organizational Support Program (OSP) Grants for Arts and Culture nonprofits for fiscal years 2011-13 were approved by the Santa Monica City Council at its special budget workshop session on June 21. With more than $7.6 million allocated to both programs, the council also accepted nearly $900,000 in federal grants for projects related to, among other programs, HSGP.

“The Human Service Grant Program … is intended to really develop, fund, and sustain human service organizations and increase the effectiveness of those single organizations and their impact by cultivating a safety net for our community,” Julie Rusk, the City’s human services manager, told the council during the three-day budget workshops. “Strong nonprofits that are linked to neighborhoods or to other public institutions are really at the core of that safety net.”

Rusk added the HSG program is recommending about $7.4 million to be awarded to 24 nonprofit agencies supporting 40 different programs for fiscal year 2011-12, and potentially through fiscal year 2014-15. Rusk said the plan also calls for “an increased use of data and program evaluations to capture trends and keep organizations accountable.”

“The purpose of this funding is not solely to support specific agencies and their programs, but it’s really to ensure… we have an effective safety net and that our community has initiatives that are focused on prevention and early intervention,” Rusk added during the workshops. “We’re working closely with all the nonprofits to make sure they have the resources and the support they need to function effectively (such as the Pico Youth and Family Center).”

As part of the adoption, the City Manager was also authorized “to negotiate and execute contracts for grantees of the HSGP and OSP, grant parking permits to HSGP organizations providing outreach and in-home services in Santa Monica, and to negotiate and execute lease agreements with human service organizations using City facilities to provide social services under the HSGP.”

With respect to the federal grants, the council accepted about $381,941 in Federal Supportive Housing Program renewal grant funds for coordinated case management and $491,791 in renewal grant funds from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Serial Inebriate Program.

The adoptions were based upon presentations made to the council on the grant programs by City staff during the three-day budget workshops in late May, in which council members heard a case to approve more than $7.4 million in funding for the HSG program and about $244,000 for OSP grants.

The staff report also generally indicated how the grant money would be allocated. Specifically for the HSGP funding, the total grant amount for fiscal year 2011-12 is $7,419,647, with $7,027,792 set aside for operating grants and $391,855 for capital/one-time projects. The total grant amount “is $344,344 over the fiscal year 2010-11 funding level.”

Funding recommendations for WISE and Healthy Aging will be presented to the council at a later date, “once terms are negotiated and a final recommended grant amount is determined.”

In terms of OSP grants staff recommended the fiscal year 2011-12 funding level be $244,600, which is about $8,030 more than the fiscal year 2010-11 funding level.

“Funding recommendations established in these plans will serve as a framework for continued grant funding over a two-year period, (fiscal year) 2011-12 through (fiscal year) 2012-13, for the OSP grants and a four-year period, fiscal year 2011-12 through (fiscal year) 2014-15, for the HSGP,” Finance Director Carol Swindell stated in the staff report. “Once approved, funding will be available beginning July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 and may be renewed an additional one year (OSP) or three years (HSGP) contingent upon available funding, effective program performance, ability to meet existing and emerging priority community needs, and city council approval.”

As several HSGP organizations require in-home visitations to provide services to residents, up to five parking permits were provided to them.

Also approved was receipt of the Federal Supportive Housing Program (SHP) renewal grants to fund coordinated case management. Funding was accepted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) for the SHP grant in the amount of $381,941 for a one year renewal (Nov. 1, 2011 through Oct. 31, 2012).

In line with a federal funding initiative to house people “who are homeless and addicted to alcohol,” Council also authorized the acceptance of $491,791 in funding from HUD for the Serial Inebriate grant; the grant was renewed for a full year.

Both the HSG program and the OSP grants allow the City to establish relations with local nonprofit community agencies “to offer programs and services that improve the quality of life for residents.” To achieve that, the council approved the Community Development (CD) Grant Program and the Cultural/Art Organizational Support Program Funding Rationale in January. Accordingly, City staff has a series of funding guidelines and selection criteria to rely upon when making determinations of which agencies to subsidize. Also, the council’s action in January “authorized staff to release Request for Proposals (RFP) for the next multi-year grant funding cycles.”

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