The Moore City Council voted Monday night to approve spending of a second round of pandemic-related funds that will be allocated toward community health and housing needs.
The city council approved the spending of $294,687 that the city recently received from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security [CARES] Act fund.
The funding is supplemental to the Community Development Block Grant that the city receives through the Department of Housing and Urban Development annually. The city also received $200,472 from CARES Act funds to supplement the CDBG funds earlier this year.
The city has received $4.7 million in total CARES Act funding, with most of that funding being made available to address other needs, such as health care and small business relief.
The city allocated its first round of CDBG-COVID-19 funds in April to fund several programs for Moore residents, including grocery assistance through the Moore Food & Resource Center and rental, mortgage and utility assistance through the Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency.
For this latest round of funding, Moore Projects Manager Kahley Gilbert said her office reached out to several local agencies to determine the best use of the funding. They identified several needs that the council approved Monday night:
- $15,576 for rental/mortgage/utility assistance.
- $34,720 to provide home-delivered meals for seniors through Aging Services Inc.
- $23,620 to the Moore Faith Clinic to provide medical equipment to low-income residents.
- $41,834 to provide internet connectivity for Moore Public Schools virtual students who are low to moderate income.
- $20,000 to a new Rapid Rehousing Program.
- $58,937 to pay for administration of the grant, which includes program delivery costs and employee payroll.
- $100,000 to the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank.
The only item that was tabled on Monday night was the agreement with Moore Public Schools. Moore city manager Brooks Mitchell said MPS asked the council to table the discussion to review the wording in the agreement, but Mitchell said he expects the council will approve the agreement soon.
The Moore Faith Clinic, a free health care facility that provides medical care to low-income patients in Cleveland County and surrounding areas, will use the funding to make “healthy living” backpacks that include a blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter, thermometers and other medical equipment, Executive Director David Evans said.
The clinic has selected 165 high-risk patients that are struggling with respiratory, diabetic or cardiac issues to receive a backpack that is customized to each patient.
Evans said the clinic is funded entirely by local businesses and the funding will help the clinic better serve local low-income residents who are at high-risk for COVID.
“The only way that patients would be able to [check things like blood pressure and blood sugar] is to come to a clinic or doctor’s office, and if they do they’re probably going to get a bill they can’t pay,” Evans said. “This is a way for them to do it at home, and then they can call us or someone else to report in… We live in a really generous community of people who really care about each other.”
The city is also using the latest CDBG-COVID-19 funding to create a Rapid Re-housing Program, which will help local residents experiencing homelessness.
Gilbert said the program will aim to help residents who have recently been evicted and have identified a new place to live, but are unable to move into their new place right away.
The program will provide a hotel/motel voucher for these residents that will give them a place to stay before they can move in, Gilbert said.
He also said the program will provide deposit assistance for rent and utilities.
“We’ve been working with the homeless liaison with Moore Public Schools, and she has identified 15 families this year that would benefit from this program,” Gilbert said. “We also have a pastor from a local church that works with our homeless population, so we anticipate working really closely with them and we hope to help 15 to 20 families with this program.”