ARPA Phase1 Immediate Needs Projects
News: County staff are working on hiring new staff to help implement the approved ARPA projects. We will keep you posted on this and other updates with the new ARPA newsletter.

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American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

PHASE 1: ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Immediate Needs

Administrative Support for ARPA $2,536,970.49

Funding for staff to assist in administration and management of ARPA and various grant funding received between 2021 and 2024. Duties include facilitating requests for funding, eligibility evaluation, financial compliance, accounting, reporting, account reconciling, audit preparation, and other related duties. Staff resources are also needed for communications, briefings, presentations, training, and other reporting and procedure development. This request includes FT Program Manager, FT Grant Accountant, PT Clerical Support, PT Eligibility Analyst, and Communications Specialist coordinating across county departments and with partner organizations.

ARPA Planning Contractor $60,119.21
Consultant for the Boulder County Commissioners’ Office will synthesize input from a diverse set of internal and external stakeholders on pandemic response and recovery needs. The consultant will deliver a report to the BOCC that analyzes data on how the pandemic has impacted Boulder County and input gathered to date from the community, staff, and other partners. This will include input specifically related to use of SLFRF funds as well as other existing data and reports that reflect the priorities and needs of different parts of the Boulder County community. In addition to summarizing common themes and priorities, the gap analysis will identify information gaps where specific communities are not represented.

Community Engagement $699,419.66
The Boulder County Commissioners’ Office is undertaking a community engagement process to plan for longer-term investment of ARPA funding, and community engagement work will continue for accountability, transparency, reporting, and other needs. This request includes costs for events, partner engagement, printed materials, translation, and related expenses to support community engagement and community feedback through the survey and at community events. This project also provides funding for community engagement staff, who will be responsible for community engagement strategy and implementation, representing the county as liaison and communication link, planning and coordinating meetings with the public and participating in community meetings, analyzing and reporting on community engagement efforts and outcomes and data from those efforts including identification of gaps, supporting data and reporting efforts, and supporting communications work.

Boulder County Public Health ARPA Administration $247,538
Funding for temporary staff to assist in administration and management of Public Health ARPA projects. Duties include financial compliance, accounting, reporting, account reconciling, and audit preparation. This position will reside in Public Health and will facilitate required information flow between Public Health and the BoCo ARPA Team.

HHS Administrative Support $ 870,025.60
Funding for temporary staff to assist in administration and management of Health and Human Services (HHS) projects. Duties include project management and coordination across HHS ARPA programs, financial compliance, accounting, reporting, account reconciling, and audit preparation. Positions will reside in HHS and will facilitate required information flow between HHS and the BoCo ARPA Team.

CS Administrative Support $846,196.08
Funding for temporary staff to assist in administration and management of Community Services (CS) projects. Duties include coordination across CS ARPA programs, financial compliance, accounting, reporting, account reconciling, and audit preparation. This position will reside in CS and will facilitate required information flow between CS and the BoCo ARPA Team.

Boulder County Public Health COVID Testing $201,985.87
Access to COVID-19 testing, especially for vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations, is a critical immediate need given the spikes in cases due to variants. BCPH has been working with Boulder Community Hospital over the past year to ensure access to testing in congregate settings, shelters, outbreak sites, and more remote mountain communities such as Nederland. These populations represent priority populations (e.g., older adults in LTCF’s, homeless, homebound, etc.) and vulnerable groups, including those in congregate settings (e.g. assisted living, etc.) who have been exposed to a positive case, as well as geographically remote residents. Funding is for Boulder Community Hospital, reimbursement of services since March 3, 2021, and pass-through funds to continue the work.

Juvenile Assessment Center COVID positions $130,084
Throughout the pandemic, the Juvenile Assessment Center has operated continuously in person as a secure juvenile detention facility for Boulder County law enforcement. The Juvenile Center is the only county-funded intake, assessment, and short-term detention facility in the state, with a maximum holding capacity of 20 youths, ages 10 to 17. This facility provides structured programming including educational and life skill activities in order to reduce further harm. The need for well trained and sustained full-time positions is a critical need to maintain safe and secure care for our county’s most vulnerable families and juveniles. The scope of work for this request extends two full-time term positions through the COVID-19 recovery.

Boulder County Public Health Vaccine Community Support $1,656,570.11
Funding supports several community communications efforts: 1) Funds to continue the VECC (Vaccine Equity Coordinating Committee) to reach much of the remaining 95,000 people in Boulder County who still need to be vaccinated and continue containment and mitigation outreach. Funding is for the VECC Coordinator and Project Manager to coordinate and support the planning and implementation of vaccination programs. 2) Support for COVID-19 communications, including a Bilingual Communications Specialist and funds for bilingual COVID-19 vaccination campaigns. Community Ambassadors work to ensure priority populations are protected and increasingly vaccinated, and funding will continue that collaboration. 3) Variants created an urgent need to fully staff the BCPH Call Center to provide accurate information to the public including information on testing, vaccinations, and new Public Health Orders. Funds will cover staff, and funds to provide three staff. 4) Finally, support is needed to reconvene a Business and Community Liaison team to respond to the business/community needs. Funding is for a Coordinator and two staff (at least one bilingual/bicultural), along with up to $100,000 pass-through funds for a) legal support from the County Attorney’s office and b) to retain and pay for the outside council for investigating, filing, and litigation violations individual and business violations of public health orders and for representing Boulder County Public Health in legal proceedings concerning public health orders.

Low Wage Workers Fund $250,000 (Project Cancelled – Funds reallocated)
Many low-wage workers in Boulder County cannot afford to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19. Although there are some paid leave protections in Colorado, they don’t apply to all workers, and many employees don’t feel they can advocate for their employee rights for a myriad of reasons, including documentation status and/or fear of retaliation. Exposure to COVID-19 can result in isolation or quarantine. These periods of time where one is prohibited from working can cause financial strain, especially for low-wage workers. This program will provide direct cash assistance to individuals who need to isolate or quarantine as a way to ensure their financial stability, such as affording general household expenses, and to reduce the further transmission of COVID-19 throughout the community. Qualification requirements include: Boulder County resident, individual tested positive OR applicant is a caregiver to a family member that tested positive for COVID-19; individual Income: Earns $600 or less per week; household Income: Eligible for Health First Colorado; and worked within last two weeks prior to testing COVID-19 positive or having to caregive. Cash supports will be between $1000-$1500. Assistance is limited to one grant per household.

Boulder County Public Health Food Insecurity $130,178
The pandemic has resulted in greater food insecurity within Boulder County, and programs that serve “gap” populations who are not eligible for Federal programs or that supplement insufficient programs are seeing larger waitlists. To best facilitate an urgent response, BCPH will increase pass-through funding to BCPH’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) Gap Funding program to provide food benefits to additional families not served by other federal programs and are currently on the waitlist. This program enhances WIC fruit and vegetable benefits, offering weekly home delivery and a farmer’s market model that provides reliable and consistent nutrition benefits. In a typical year, WIC families may only receive $8 per person per month for fresh produce. This program fills a nutrition gap not offered through the federal program or local programs. This funding will increase direct support to families to enhance food security while supporting local farmers and agriculture and partners at the Boulder and Longmont Farmers Markets, as well as economic revitalization through multiplier effects and supporting healthy food consumption. Boulder County Farmers Markets (BCFM) will distribute $20 in healthy food incentives to Boulder County WIC families with a Longmont or BOCO sticker one time weekly via home delivery or at in-person farmers markets. BCFM staff will track eligible families for each home delivery or physical farmers market transaction.

Left Behind Workers Fund $300,000
The Left Behind Workers Fund (LBWF) provides financial support to workers that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are ineligible for unemployment insurance and other stimulus funds. The LBWF provides $1000 in direct cash assistance to workers who experienced the loss of employment after February 2020, including complete job loss, current job loss of 20+ hours/week, or previous loss of 20+ hours/week for a month or more, as well as those impacted by an unpaid leave of absence from work due to school or daycare closures, the need to care for family members, or the need to remain quarantined after possible COVID-19 exposure.

Eviction Representation $50,000
The City of Boulder’s “No Eviction w/o Representation Program” provides legal aid and representation to those who are facing eviction and cannot afford legal support. A newly passed ballot measure requires a landlord fee that funds the City of Boulder program. Currently, similar services are not available throughout the rest of Boulder County except through grant-funded services when available. Due to COVID-19 and the end of the eviction moratorium, the number of people county-wide, but not in the City of Boulder, needing legal aid who are facing eviction continues to increase, and funds are needed to provide these services. Currently, the City of Boulder contracts with Bridge to Justice, and this agency has been taking on non-COB clients on an as-needed basis. More funding is needed because Bridge to Justice was provided supplemental funds last year through Senate Bill 20B-002 in the amount of $25,793.53 that, to their knowledge, will not be available again this coming year. $50,000 is requested for the continuation of this programming for Boulder County (non-City of Boulder) clients through the end of FY 2022 to cover the previously received supplemental funding and continued programming for Boulder County-specific services. This past year, 31 of the 49 evictions were filed for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19-related hardship, and 27 successful outcomes were tracked. Services and information are provided in English and Spanish.

Employment Services, Workforce Boulder County $385,000
This request involves hiring five individuals to support local residents’ employment and re-employment needs. Workforce Boulder County will hire four “Employment Advisors” supported by one supervisor. The advisors will meet one on one with the public and provide triaging services, information and referrals, coaching, and connection to jobs. Two advisors will work from the St. Vrain Community HUB and two will work out of the Boulder office. This service will complement other services including the Virtual Call Center, Career Development Workshops, and the more intensive case management services (including training and retraining).

Workforce Boulder County Virtual Call Center $370,000 (Project Complete)
The Virtual Call Center (VCC) is regarded as a “hub” for anyone impacted by unemployment. VCC assists people who lost jobs due to the pandemic and related economic downturn, helping people in our community regain economic and employment stability for themselves and their families. People who lost their jobs due to the pandemic have experienced significant wait times attempting to reach the State Unemployment Office, and WfBC’s VCC provides a place for people to reach a resolution. The scope of work is answering calls, identifying the unique needs of each person, and determining the next best steps toward sustainable employment. VCC agents specialize in understanding the unemployment system, have a working knowledge of the career development process, stay abreast of the internal and external sources available to provide warm referrals and strive to offer the best in public service.

District Attorney’s Office Court Reporter Funding $130,000 (Project Complete – $53,649 Spent)
The District Attorney’s Office continues to manage a backlog of criminal cases and jury trials that were not able to be resolved during the pandemic as in-person litigated hearings and jury trials were not being held. The backlog of jury trials and court cases is extensive and causing the trial docket to be over capacity and set many cases deep during any given trial week. The most serious offenders and the most serious criminal cases, such as sexual assault, crimes against children, and homicide, remain unresolved and must continue to proceed through litigated hearings and jury trials. Due to state budget cuts from the pandemic, the 20th Judicial District State Courts laid off their Court Reporters. Court Reporters are an essential part of the criminal justice process in each case in order to make an accurate record of all proceedings. Without a proper record for appeal, the information is assumed to be non-existent in the record and that can lead to the case being overturned and sent back down to the trial court for retrial by the District Attorney’s Office. Additionally, it is often very difficult to proceed to a jury trial for a second time and secure a similarly successful outcome twice based on the now unavailability of evidence or witnesses present in the first trial.

Boulder County Public Health Support for Childhood Health and Development $172,000
Pandemic-related closing of childcare centers and increased earning pressure on families has caused an increase in unlicensed childcare facilities, with around 50% of Latinx parents in Boulder County currently using such providers. BCPH will provide support to dozens of unlicensed providers through a bilingual/bicultural position based in the BCPH Child Health Promotion Program. This position will serve previously unserved Family-Friends-Neighbors Network providers to enhance child health outcomes and quality, adherence to public health guidelines, and reliable care for families returning to the workforce. This includes funding for childcare provider essential needs and equipment.

Additionally, children have experienced significantly increased stressors that impact their socio-emotional development. BCPH will leverage existing programs through the Nurse Family Partnership, WIC, Children with Special Needs, Genesis, Child Health Promotion, and other programs to address this need. ARPA funding will provide extended subscriptions to two key programs for one year, including: 1) Developmental screening services to identify children who need early intervention services through subscription to online ASQ-3 and ASQ SE-2 developmental and social-emotional screenings in English and Spanish. 2) Extension of the LENA (Language Environment Analysis) program subscription to train parents in child development and subscription to the Passageworks and Circle of Security parent education programs to help parents navigate trauma children have experienced; these efforts are implemented in collaboration with partners including SVVSD, City of Longmont, Our Center, ECCBC, BVSD, and Boulder Library.

Support for a Successful Implementation of the Emergency Choice Vouchers $120,000
A full-time case manager specializing in Move On protocols will provide support to individuals experiencing homelessness.  This position will help connect individuals with vouchers and secure vacant apartments.  HUD has released Emergency Choice Vouchers to eligible Public Housing Authorities to address connecting individuals experiencing homelessness to housing. These one-time funds are an opportunity to impact unhoused individuals positively. By providing up to two months of market-rate rent to landlords who report a vacant unit, we can ensure individuals with vouchers can rapidly connect to a unit willing to receive it. This approach can also assist individuals who have challenging backgrounds as these funds and approaches can be used as a tool to recruit new landlords.

Program Evaluation and Data – $1,075,705.86
The Program Evaluation and Data project supports effective data tracking and reporting with an equity lens across ARPA-funded projects, to meet reporting requirements as defined by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for the use of ARPA funds, and for evaluation of program and project outcomes for Boulder County communities impacted by COVID-19. The project is charged with ARPA data practices and processes and finding ways to improve on them, through the lens of racial equity. The project will make information a priority and more readily available as input to analysis and data-informed decision-making to optimize the county’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts for ARPA funding, looking at results that include pandemic impacts on our community’s health, economics, county operations, racial equity, etc. The project will consist of a team of Racial Equity Practitioner, Business Analyst, and Data Analyst, with resources also provided for Racial Equity Panels and technology. The project supports ARPA-funded projects that respond to public health or negative economic impacts experienced.

Assistance for the Family Resource Centers: OUR Center, Sister Carmen Community Center, and Emergency Family Assistance Association $1,500,000
Funding for the Family Resource Centers (FRCs) or the populations they serve will assist in meeting immediate community needs across Boulder County. FRCs provide direct basic needs assistance, including cash assistance to eligible clients to support items such as current and arrears utility bills, food assistance, car repairs/insurance, gap funding to clients who do not qualify for other government assistance, and/or bridge funding while waiting on additional community resources. During the pandemic, they also have been supporting access for clients to pandemic relief programs such as Emergency Rental Assistance and aid to impacted workers. The FRCs are an established system that most directly serves lower-income populations which also can include people experiencing homelessness or housing instability, BIPOC, and immigrant communities.

Digital Divide Project $557,395
The Community Services Digital Divide Project bridges the technology divide through several efforts to increase access to education, employment, and services: Support for nonprofits and internal programs by procuring, providing, and instructing vulnerable community members on technological devices and connectivity; part-time resource navigators to support the connection, instruction, and 1:1 support to connect individuals with technology; and devices and connectivity for individuals experiencing homelessness and inmates while in custody.