AKRON — The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides $350 billion in additional funding for state and local governments.
The city of Akron received $145 million in these federal funds.
The city said the money will be used to create a safer, healthier and more equitable Akron.
One of the ways the city plans to do this is through the Youth Violence Prevention Community Grant Program.
The Vincent House, a brand new after-school program, received $100,000 through this grant program.
Madison Jones, the program director of The Vincent House, said that this funding makes all the difference for her program, which is less than one-year-old.
“ARPA funding is huge, like as we get started off as a program, the ARPA funding is largely one of the reasons we can do what we can do,” Jones said. “In order for our programming to exist, we need staffing and we need good staffing.”
Nearly every day after the school day ends, around 20 children from the Mason Community Learning Center attend programing at The Vincent House, which is located the Middlebury neighborhood in Akron.
Jones explained that out of all the zip codes in Akron, the Middlebury neighborhood ranks number one for youth violence.
“As a part of the program, what we are trying to do is create a lot of healthy presence of adults around to engage with kids,” she said. “On top of that, talk through a lot of ‘hey when you feel really big strong emotions, what do we do with them, how do we engage with them?’”
The city of Akron is currently accepting applications for the violence intervention and prevention grant program until October 31st.