LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) is extending the deadline until Sunday, November 22, for organizations to apply for funding to support programs for low-income communities and veterans with mental health needs.

These initiatives were approved by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Steering Committee to help offset the negative impacts of the public health emergency using federal CARES Act funds. Applications from eligible organizations will be accepted through Nov. 22 at 11:59 p.m.

To be eligible for funding through either initiative organizations must:

Demonstrate a mission or vision to advance equity and address needs for high-poverty communities or be a non-profit veteran service organization that serves Arkansas veterans

Show a history of service to these populations and clear strategies for engagement with members of the community

Have leadership and staff who are representative of the populations served by the initiatives

Have been in operation since March 1, 2019

Low-income community support

Many community organizations have seen less donations due to the pandemic, but low-income communities in Arkansas still rely on these organizations for food, clothing, rent, transportation, and help finding a job. CARES Act funding for non-profit and community organizations serving low-income and minority communities can help overcome infrastructure challenges that limit access. Organizations may apply to receive up to $10,000 to serve high-poverty areas in Arkansas.

The application form and more information about the process can be found at human services.arkansas.gov.

Veterans’ mental health

The CARES Act Steering Committee also approved $3.4 million to fund supportive programs and services for veterans and their families that provide mental health services, outreach and education, and crisis intervention for veterans experiencing mental health issues during the public health emergency.

The pandemic has caused many Arkansans to experience negative mental and behavioral health outcomes. This program aims to make sure there are targeted efforts underway to support Arkansas veterans and connect them to services in their communities. Eligible organizations may apply to get funding to support veterans experiencing mental health conditions based on the organization’s size and role in the mental health system.

More information about the veterans mental health initiative, and the application form, can be found at human services.arkansas.gov.

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