Supporting States in Planning and Deploying American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the 117th United States Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve outcomes for Americans who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and structural racism. States can use one-time ARPA funds to stabilize community based organizations, ramp up services to meet critical needs during the recovery and, as clarified in guidance from the Department of Treasury, invest in their capacity to improve programs addressing negative economic impacts.

What does ARPA Fund?

ARPA funding offers the opportunity to address several issues, including:

  • Child Care: Nearly $15 billion in flexible Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funding and a childcare stabilization grant fund of nearly $24 billion.
  • Mental Health: $1.5 billion in flexible Community Mental Health Services Block Grant funding and $1.5 billion in Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program
  • Homelessness: $5 billion through the Homeless Assistance and Supportive Services Program
  • State and Local Recovery: $350 billion to help states, counties, cities and tribes cover increased expenditures, replenish revenue, and mitigate economic harm from COVID-19

How Can Third Sector Support?

Third Sector will help leaders answer key questions including:

  • How can we deploy ARPA funds with an intentional focus on racial equity and outcomes? How should we structure our funding disbursements to address these factors? What systems-level analysis should we be considering as we make decisions
  • How can we align ARPA funds with broader goals and existing initiatives? How can these onetime funds pilot or test reforms or other innovative approaches we have been considering?
  • How can we engage with the community during the design and development of our ARPA funding approach? What methods should we use to engage with the community?
  • How can we use data to inform our decision making? How will we learn and improve as funding is deployed?

Resources

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Memo- July 2021

COVID Recovery Contracting Re-Engages Low-income Students in Colorado

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