Tennessee seeking non-profits to serve state's pandemic needs

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The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is opening the grant application process Saturday August 1 to support non-profit organizations serving Tennessee’s health and economic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is making $150 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds available in this grant cycle through the Tennessee Community CARES Program.

Organizations are encouraged to apply for grants through the uniform application portal here until August 15. Organizations that receive Tennessee Community CARES grants must be 501(c)(3) organizations.

“Tennessee’s non-profit organizations know their communities’ needs better than anyone and this grant money will give them the resources necessary to create the biggest impact,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “These partnerships we’re establishing with non-profit organizations will address new challenges created by the pandemic and help us build a thriving Tennessee.”

These grants will be administered by partner non-profit organizations who will serve as grant administrators. Grant administrators will handle outreach, marketing, and reporting of funds. They will also receive the grant applications, approve them, and monitor spending of approved programs. Organizations serving as grant administrators include:

  • United Way of Greater Chattanooga
  • United Way of Greater Knoxville
  • United Way of Greater Nashville
  • United Way of the Mid-South
  • Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee

Funds may be used for expenses occurring from March 1, 2020 through November 15, 2020 and related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of activities prioritized and encouraged for funding under this program will include:

  • Support for school-aged children and families related to education needs created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak;
  • Any of the following activities for individuals or families who have been impacted by a loss of income or economic insecurity as a result of COVID-19:
    • Workforce training;
    • Emergency food assistance;
    • Case management or assistance in accessing an eligible state or federal public benefit;
    • Care for at-risk or vulnerable populations to mitigate COVID-19 effects and/or enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions;
    • Emergency financial assistance to prevent homelessness, eviction or foreclosure;
    • Other similar services designed to mitigate the negative health or economic impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Providing uncompensated care or assistance for disabled or other vulnerable population to address new financial, health, or educational challenges that are in response to COVID-19.
  • Public Health Support activities such as uncompensated or unreimbursed costs for services or activities dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency, including but not limited to:
    • Supports, education, and communication for individuals to increase access to testing and reliability of contact tracing;
    • Expenses for technical assistance on mitigation of COVID-19-related threats;
    • Expenses for acquisition and distribution of medical and protective supplies, including sanitizing products and personal protective equipment, for medical personnel, police officers, social workers, child protection services, and child welfare officers, direct service providers for older adults and individuals with disabilities in community settings, and other public health or safety workers in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency;
    • Mental and behavioral health services delivered in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency;
    • Expenses associated with supporting the housing or quarantining of COVID-19 positive individuals;
    • Any other expense incurred in relation to non-profit missions to directly support the public health response to COVID-19.
  • Any other non-profit support provided to Tennessee business entities such as:
    • Technical assistance and support in enrolling and participating in a federal, state, or local benefit program;
    • Education on safe practices in response to COVID-19;
    • Acquisition or purchase of personal protective equipment or reimbursing costs associated with mitigating the spread of COVID-19;
    • Expenses related to mitigating the spread of COVID-19;
  • Reimbursement of unreimbursed expenses incurred by a non-profit due to the COVID19 emergency, including but not limited to increased payroll costs, PPE, or any other measures taken to protect the employees and population served by the non-profit;
  • Support targeted for any at-risk, vulnerable, or underserved community for any eligible activity;
  • Past and future reimbursement for the required Non-Federal Cost-Share of Stafford Act assistance for COVID-19-related costs that satisfy the CRF eligibility criteria AND the FEMA Public Assistance eligibility criteria;
  • Reimbursement for any of the eligible costs incurred in the period from March 1 to Dec. 30;

All grants will be required to follow the US Department of Treasury’s additional guidance on Coronavirus Relief Fund allowable expenditures. The US Department of Treasury is also regularly updating Frequently Asked Questions, which can be found on the Coronavirus Relief Fund webpage.

Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.

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