The John M. Scott Commission has announced a $485,000 wellness grant to assist health service agencies in McLean County.
The funds help agencies meet the various health and wellness needs of the community. Commission Chair Holly Ambuehl said funding is up from the last fiscal year to tackle health disparities in the community highlighted by COVID-19. She said this year’s grant is crucial for financially-strapped agencies.
“This year, fortunately, there's more available because of all the increased (needs) in the community. We're happy that there's more available,” she said.
Ambuehl said she discovered that people of color and low-income residents were the first to get COVID-19 and likely to die from it. She said the agency is asking applicants to pay close attention to local data to see where these health disparities exist.
“The reasons for that are complex, it's not their fault," she said. "And we understand that, and so we want to target the core root problems that are driving those kinds of trends through this grant program. So, we have a firm expectation that all applicants will specifically target disparities when they write a proposal.”
The program funds units of government, including townships, municipalities, school districts, and counties. Applicants from any of those entities within McLean County's borders can apply for grant funding. Ambuehl said often that will happen in partnership with a nonprofit. An applicant might partner with a school district to deliver a health-focused program, for example.
Ambuehl said the grant also is crucial for nonprofit organizations that are struggling to obtain financial assistance throughout the year.
“Nonprofits are important employers, and important part of the economy may also deliver really important services across the lifespan for all kinds of people,” she said.
The deadline for the application is Dec. 31 on the City of Bloomington website.
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