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Decatur gives $300,000 to non-profits affected by pandemic

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Decatur gives $300,000 to non-profits affected by pandemic

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Patrick Marlow from L’Arche Atlanta passes out free lemonade to Porchfest goers. L'Arche is one of 15 local nonprofits who received funding from CARES money this year.
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By Patrick Saunders, contributor 

Decatur, GA — The Decatur City Commission unanimously voted to award $300,000 to 15 local non-profits whose funding and operations have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Over 30 groups applied for the grant of up to $25,000, with 22 meeting the criteria for eligibility. A total of $500,000 was applied for, and the city used a double-blind lottery process to select the final 15 grantees.

“The objective was to be fair and non-biased in the award of the grants,” Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon said during the Decatur City Commission’s Dec. 7 meeting.

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The commission voted to appropriate the money for the grant from the city’s CARES Act funding and establish the grant program in November. From there, city staff worked quickly to establish and publicize the application process, vet the applicants and choose the grantees in time for the December commission meeting.

“We had to do a lot of work in a very short period of time and it took a real team effort to put it together,” Saxon said.

“We have been very nimble in trying to respond to the needs,” Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett added.

The goal is to have the grant agreements executed by Dec. 16 and the funds disbursed by Dec. 18, according to Saxon. The money will be used for supplementing revenue, payroll support, technology support, supplies, program support, PPE and training.

Grantees will be required to execute a grant agreement obligating them to use the funding as described in their grant application. They are also prohibited from using grant funds for expenses already addressed by CARES Act funding. They must spend the money and provide documentation of expenditures and final report to the city by March 31. All grantees are also subject to an audit.

The 15 non-profits and the awards received are below:

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– Academe of the Oaks ($23,266)

– All Walks of Life ($2,830)

– Beacon of Hope Women’s Center ($6,000)

– Citizen Advocacy of Atlanta & DeKalb ($6,000)

– Decatur Book Festival ($20,904)

– Decatur Makers ($25,000)

– DeKalb History Center ($25,000)

– DeKalb Rape Crisis Center ($16,000)

– First Christian Church of Decatur ($25,000)

– Global Growers Network ($25,000)

– Global Village Project ($25,000)

– L’Arche Atlanta ($25,000)

– Oakhurst Recovery Program ($25,000)

– Phoenix School ($25,000)

– Threshold Community Program ($25,000)

The new grant was one of several initiatives this month using CARES Act funding to support local residents, businesses and non-profits. The Decatur Downtown Development Authority voted to join the city in forgiving loans made to 27 small businesses affected by the pandemic. And DeKalb allocated $1 million to help residents who are unemployed due to the pandemic and training to work in in-demand fields.

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