The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a loss of economic, housing, and food security for many residents in the City of Citrus Heights. In response, the Citrus Heights City Council authorized $205,750 in emergency funding to support local nonprofits that provide essential services to Citrus Heights residents. The funding is part of a special allocation of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds (also referred to as “CDBG-CV”), the city received as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The city allocated about $80,000 to three community nonprofits to meet increased demand for essential services. In addition, the city allocated $125,000 to create a supplemental fund to support the city’s Homeless Navigator Program. The city will allocate the remainder of its CDBG-CV funding in the coming months after assessing the impacts of the preliminary allocations and evolving external factors.
The Sunrise Christian Food Ministry, a volunteer-run emergency food bank in Citrus Heights, has seen a 50 percent increase in new clients. At the same time, the nonprofit has had a 90 percent decrease in volunteers. Although the food bank is still in need of volunteers, online volunteer-matching services have helped to connect the organization with new volunteers. The city’s grant of $30,000 will enable the Sunrise Christian Food Ministry to meet the community’s increased need for emergency food and household supplies in the coming months.
The City Council also approved a $15,750 grant to Campus Life Connection to distribute emergency food and essential household supplies from the city’s Sayonara Children and Youth Center. The nonprofit has operated an afterschool program for low-income youth out of the city-owned community center since 2012. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Campus Life has pivoted its operations to meet the community’s current needs. The city’s grant will enable the nonprofit to distribute community dinners and essential household supplies to approximately 70 low-income families, five days per week.
WEAVE received a $30,000 grant from the city to meet the increased demand for domestic violence services since the local stay-at-home order was issued due to COVID-19. WEAVE’s domestic violence reduction team works closely with the Citrus Heights Police Department to provide services to victims of domestic violence. With the city’s grant, WEAVE by providing operational support as well as direct support for domestic violence survivors, such as motel rooms, food, and essential household supplies.
Additionally, the city created a $125,000 supplemental fund to support the existing Homeless Navigator Program. The city’s Homeless Navigator, contracted through a local nonprofit, Sacramento Self-Help Housing, will now be able to access additional resources to assist the city’s most vulnerable community members during the COVID-19 crisis. The fund can be used to provide motel, laundry, and transportation vouchers, as well as provide security deposit assistance to place people into permanent housing.
The city’s staff members are continuously assessing the needs of our most vulnerable community members and will distribute the remainder of CDBG-CV funds in the coming months.