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Posted on: February 17, 2021

Gainesville, NGCF address community needs magnified by pandemic

City of Gainesville + NGCF check presentation

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (Feb. 17, 2021) – As the fight against COVID-19 persists, the City of Gainesville and North Georgia Community Foundation (NGCF) have partnered together to help those adversely impacted by the pandemic, whether due to illness, loss of employment/wages, etc.

Gainesville Housing & Special Projects Manager Jessica Tullar announced in fall 2020 the partnership, forged to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on Gainesvillians and address some of the pandemic’s side effects using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (CDBG-CV funds). The City and NGCF are now working to distribute the relief through food and utility bill assistance for City residents.

“You all are very well aware of all the great work they (NGCF) do in our community and what I’m really excited about is they have the capacity to actually administer these funds on our behalf in a very expeditious and effective manner,” Tullar said.

Because of the special allocation of CDBG-CV funds – to be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19 – the City was able to present NGCF President & CEO Michelle Prater and Chairman of the NGCF Board of Directors Rob Fowler a check for $175,000 in fall 2020 to propel these efforts forward.

“It is wonderful to live in a community where initiatives like this are created, and NGCF is proud to partner with the City of Gainesville to meet these critical needs,” Prater said.

Through the partnership, Tullar said City and NGCF representatives identified issues such as food insecurity and residents’ inability to pay utility bills, which CDBG-CV funds will address directly.

“There’s still food insecurity here in our community as a result of COVID-19 and we want to do our part to help address that,” she said.

Tullar said NGCF has researched and vetted nonprofit organizations already assisting Gainesville residents with food and utility bill assistance and understands each organization's capacity to participate under the CDBG-CV program requirements. NGCF has also determined how best to distribute the CDBG-CV funds, awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to achieve the greatest benefit possible.

NGCF will be responsible for complying with all of HUD’s eligibility, reporting and monitoring requirements for the funds.

Photo cutline: Shown, from left, are Chairman of the North Georgia Community Foundation (NGCF) Board of Directors Rob Fowler, Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan and NGCF President & CEO Michelle Prater during a recent check presentation benefitting Gainesvillians struggling due to COVID-19. The city recently partnered with NGCF, presenting Fowler and Prater with a check for $175,000 to help address issues such as food insecurity and residents’ inability to pay utility bills.

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