Bristol distributes grants to local organizations from a second allocation of funding

Published on Thursday, 10 December 2020 13:49


BRISTOL – The city has distributed grants to local organizations from a second allocation of funding provided through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) CARES Act.

In response to the economic impact caused by the covid-19 pandemic, earlier this year Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides funds to state, local and tribal governments. A percentage of the money was distributed to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the CDBG program.

In the most recent funding round, Bristol was awarded $382,741 in Coronavirus (CDBG-CV3) Funds intended to support nonprofit organizations to prepare for, prevent, and respond to the virus as it impacts low- and moderate-income residents.

“This covid funding is a silver lining to what has been a difficult year,” Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said. “To be able to pump over $300,000 into our local nonprofits to help them continue to provide services is great.”

The proposed use of these funds was recommended by the city’s Economic and Community Development CDBG Policy Committee and then approved by the City Council at its December meeting. The funds will be awarded to the following local organizations:

$20,000 will partially fund the expansion of the Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies program at Shepard Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center. This grant will enable the fees to be reduced for this program, allowing for scholarship and financial aid with the goal of reaching as many members of the community to promote self-care through an equine experience to reduce the mental health impact of the coronavirus.

$75,000 will be awarded to the Imagine Nation Early Learning Center to purchase the additional supplies needed to meet covid-19 requirements, fund resources for staff and families that will support them to keep a positive emotional balance under stressful circumstances, pay for benefits and compensation for staff and job security to employees, keep tuition to families at an affordable level, provide services to families to meet basic needs, pay for repairs and maintenance of essential systems within the building, and fund programming.

$10,293 to the United Way of West Central Connecticut to respond to and coordinate the local agencies’ responses related to homelessness.

$30,000 will be used by the Human Resources Agency of New Britain Inc. to directly benefit 60 Bristol households. The funds will leverage the pre-existing services provided by HRA to assist covid-19 affected households to remain sheltered in place and to obtain food.

$8,500 will be awarded to the New England Carousel Museum to increase cleaning supplies to stock for a six to 12 month period and to contract a professional cleaning service to deep clean the museum’s public spaces. Additionally, the museum will purchase and install hands-free faucets and soap dispensers for increased safety measures and permanent improvements.

$75,000 will be used by the Bristol Preschool Childcare Center to purchase necessary items needed to be in compliance with covid-19 guidelines in order to continue to serve preschool children at all of its locations in Bristol.

$34,000 will be awarded to St. Vincent DePaul Mission to open a winter day center for its residents during the winter months in order to minimize the congregation of people outside the facility, allowing for more space to social distance.

$40,000 will allow the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center to continue to provide club youth with before-and-after school programs and full-day distance learning support during the covid-19 pandemic. The funding will also be used to support adequate staffing levels, to help purchase personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to prevent the spread of covid-19, and for building maintenance costs to utilize the club’s facilities for school-year programs for youth and families.

$10,000 will be awarded to For Goodness Sake to hire a covid response coordinator. This newly created position would be responsible for helping to provide furniture and household goods to individuals and families affected by the pandemic, including those that have lost jobs or housing.

$3,400 will be awarded to Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church to help them to continue to provide meals to those in need in the Bristol community. The church currently serves 95% of its meals to people from Bristol with daily food distribution Monday through Thursday – serving on average of 300 persons a week.

In June the city was awarded $393,989 in the first round of CDBG-CV funds. After a public hearing and policy committee vote, the city amended its plans for reacting quickly to public health emergencies in the future, according to a statement from Economic and Community Development.

The funds were then invested in the St. Vincent DePaul Mission to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, by expanding their facilities to add more accommodations, enable social distancing, and develop plans for an overflow facility that can be activated in the event of a resurgence of covid-19 cases among the vulnerable populations.

Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Thursday, 10 December 2020 13:49. Updated: Thursday, 10 December 2020 13:51.