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Loudoun supervisors award more than $800K in Community Development Block Grants

Loudoun supervisors gave the stamp of approval last week to more than $800,000 in Community Development Block Grants for a handful of local nonprofits and programs.

The federal grants help fund organizations and programs for low-income residents.

Before supervisors cast their final votes, some representatives of the organizations spoke out about the criteria the county used to determine which programs and nonprofits qualified for funding.

Vickie Koth, the executive director of Ashburn-based Good Shepherd Alliance, an organization that helps the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless, asked why the nonprofit ranked so low compared to other organizations providing public services.

“I know the ranking process is important, but in this case it failed an organization,” Koth said. “We have been working in the county over 30 years, and I’m hoping that as a Board of Supervisors that you could look beyond that ranking.”

Despite her plea, supervisors proceeded with the board’s Finance Committee recommendation and approved CDBG funds for the organizations ranked the highest and those they said provided “critical needs,” such as health and dental services and programs for youth and children.

Supervisors also agreed to change its future nonprofit grant funding process to limit CDBG funding to organizations whose overall service population includes “a considerable number of Loudoun residents” and to nonprofits with either a physical presence in the county or within a “reasonable proximity” to Loudoun.

Homeless youth support organization Mobile Hope, which ranked the highest in the county's public service projects list will receive $30,000; the Northern Virginia Dental Clinic will receive $32,405; child welfare group INMED $46,834.15; HealthWorks' prescription assistance program $19,047.65 and its dental care for older adults $21,175; Crossroads Jobs, Inc $17,294.50.

Additionally, supervisors signed off on $650,000 for capital projects from INMED, Loudoun Habitat for Humanity and the Loudoun County Home Improvement Program.

Several supervisors pointed out that nonprofits have a number of ways to obtain grants, including through the county’s separate nonprofit grant funding process.

County staff also said that this fiscal year they gave Good Shepherd Alliance about $69,000 in funding.

“We freed up the money to fund those top-ranked organizations,” Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) said. “We’re now able as a result of freeing up that money to take those organizations to 100 percent [funding].”

Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) agreed with Buona and said the organizations they decided to fund were “life sustaining.”

Randall also said that because President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate the $3 billion CDBG program, supervisors should give as much funds as possible to those organizations while they still had access to the federal funds.

“If [President Trump’s] budget as written passed ... would cut out almost all CDBG block grant money. It’s actually a good idea for us to give as much money to what I consider life sustaining nonprofits this year as possible, because we’re not sure if we’ll have any or all of this money next year,” Randall said.

All but one supervisor voted in favor of the final motion.

Broad Run Supervisor Ron Meyer (R) expressed concern over not funding Good Shepherd Alliance and that $200,000 was being spent on administrative costs for the $1 million CDBG program.

“I think this needs to do one of two things, it needs to go back to Finance Committee so we can ... figure out why we’re spending $200,000 of a $1 million program on administrative costs and, secondly, why Good Shepherd, one of the best nonprofits in this county, can’t qualify,” Meyer said.

The board passed the Finance Committee’s CDBG recommendations 7-1-1 with Meyer opposed and Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) absent for the vote.


Could of bought 4000 Kindle Fire for the school kids so they are not lugging those overpriced books.

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