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U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson secures federal funding for community projects in Decatur, Clarkston, Tucker

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U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson secures federal funding for community projects in Decatur, Clarkston, Tucker

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson

Washington, D.C.— U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-4) has secured just under $5 million for eight community-funded projects in the 2022 appropriations bills for the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Department of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, according to a press release.

All projects Johnson’s office submitted for the Community Project Funding to the Appropriations Committee were accepted. Projects included $800,000 for sidewalk improvements to Flat Shoals Parkway in Tucker and Decatur; a $600,000 complete streets improvement project in the City of Decatur; a $209,000 affordable housing and studio complex in the City of Decatur; $320,000 for the City of Clarkston’s READY School initiative and $300,000 for MedCura Health’s Mental Health Workforce Development initiative.

“These projects are critical investments for Georgia Fourth District,” said Johnson, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, in a press release. “They are investments in healthcare, education,. infrastructure and our overall quality of life. Mostly they are investments in people. Anyone who says government doesn’t work for the people should feel confident in this process as we move forward. It doesn’t matter where you live or how much you make; we all benefit together.”

Clarkston’s READY Schools initiative will work to create equitable access to early learning programs in refugee and immigrant communities.

“I am so excited about this opportunity to expand the amazing READY School program to four communities in DeKalb County, in partnership with CDF Action and with the support of the Congressman Hank Johnson’s office,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry in a press release. “Study after study shows that investing in early learning pays tremendous dividends in the larger community by improving school performance, increasing the socialization of our young people, and in fostering career development and advancement for a workforce comprised of mostly women.”

This free multilingual part-time early learning and family engagement program, located in apartment communities, offers an environment which is safe, welcoming, and enriching, providing the foundation for future success.

MedCura Health, who’s main location is in Stone Mountain, will receive funding for its Mental Health Workforce Development program and the funds will fortify mental health services in the community that are critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment will increase the number of professionals that can support and bolster the community in the wake of the pandemic, with a focus on mental wellness.

“Our community desperately needs additional mental health services with the increasing unhoused population and the terrible impact Covid-19 has had on both mental health and economic stability,” said MedCura Health CEO Jeff Taylor in a press release. “We are having difficulty keeping up with the demand currently and it has been difficult to hire psychiatrists. This funding would mean we can increase services by 200% and expand services from one site to five sites.”

The inclusion of this funding in the Appropriations Committee draft bill is the first step in the funding process. Johnson will continue to fight for this funding as the bill moves to the full Appropriations Committee, consideration on the House Floor, and negotiations with the Senate.

The city of Avondale Estates also requested about $2 million for the city’s complete streets project which is reducing U.S. Highway 278 from five lanes to three lanes between Sams Crossing and Ashton Place. In addition to the road diet, the project will include a 10-feet wide multi-use path for cyclists and pedestrians. The path system would connect the existing bike, public transit and sidewalk infrastructure, promote walkability, cycling and the use of public transportation.

This project, however, was not listed as one of the eight projects accepted but the press release states that more information on the status of additional requests will be announced in the coming days.

Other projects submitted by Johnson’s office include:

– $1,000,000 for the development of a Transportation Training Center at Georgia Piedmont Technical College;

– $900,000 corridor and connection initiative in Oxford; and

– $800,000 multi-use trail in Covington.

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