Some D.C. nonprofits say they’re finally getting money they expected in July to help distribute personal protective equipment and other COVID-19 supplies.
In the spring, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser promised millions of dollars to help nonprofit groups combat the COVID-19 crisis.
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Organizations applied for money to buy protective gear, cleaning supplies and to launch education programs for low-income families and the elderly.
The Hope Grants came from the federal government’s CARES Act to be administered by the mayor’s office.
The District chose more than 70 nonprofits and awarded them tens of thousands dollars each, but a News4 I-Team investigation found about a dozen didn’t get the money when they expected it and were still waiting for their checks months after winning the award.
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The mayor’s office told the I-Team last month the District was trying to get proper paperwork to its contracting office.
Last week, the money finally arrived at some of those nonprofits, including Palisades Village in Northwest, a community program for seniors, and Empower DC, which helps provide PPE for low-income families districtwide.
The organizations say the delay in receiving the money delayed buying supplies and distributing them to those in need.
“They want to be able to go door-to-door and provide PPE and education to people living in public housing about COVID-19, as well as provide them with gloves, hand sanitizer and masks,” said Taylar Nuevelle of Empower DC.
Empower DC and Palisades Village told the I-Team they’re racing to catch up and use this grant money by the end of the year, which they must under D.C. rules, but the need for help remains as COVID-19 cases surge again and supplies are running low among low-income families.