Nearly $3 million of American Rescue Plan funding has been allocated to local youth programs and non-profits.

City of Erie officials announced the recipients of the Community Development Initiatives Grant.

Nearly $3 million was allocated to about 20 local non-profits.

About $1 million was devoted to supporting youth programs and thousands of dollars were allocated to programs on the city’s east and west side.

“We need to really support the historically disadvantaged communities of the city and this was the perfect opportunity to be able to fund projects that include workforce development, recreational activities and things like that,” said Chris Groner, Vice President of the Erie County Redevelopment Authority.

The Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network (SSJ) received about $55,000 for their home buying program.

Susannah Faulkner, Director of Development for the SSJ Neighborhood Network, explained that these federal dollars will provide below market rate affordable housing rentals to residents who qualify as low to moderate income.

“Generational poverty is a major issue in the city of Erie. We have an extremely high poverty rate as well. When families are able to become home buyers and really build their wealth, we see that as a very empowering experience and that’s what we’re all about,” said Susannah Faulkner, Director of Development for SSJ Neighborhood Network.

Robyn Young, the Executive Director of SafeNet, said these federal dollars will make up for lost funding opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We didn’t get to host our annual medical conference. We didn’t get to have our Boo Run. One of the years we had a scaled down Boo Run. Some of those events that the community really enjoys and takes part in that we use as fundraisers we were not able to host,” said Robyn Young, Executive Director at SafeNet.

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Young explained SafeNet planned to use the American Rescue Plan funding for repairs to their neighborhood partnership center, including replacing the roof.