Bethel is preparing to deliver CARES Act funding to its nonprofits and local residents. Michelle DeWitt, executive director of Bethel Community Services Foundation, which is managing the program for the city, says that $1 million has been put aside for the effort. All but $100,000 is going to nonprofit companies and agencies.
“The nonprofit sector is a major economic driver in our community, and in the whole region,” DeWitt explained. “If we want to be able to move forward and preserve these organizations and institutions, preserve employment, preserve the safety net they provide, these funds are essential in doing that because the impacts have been tremendous across the board.”
The largest pot of money, $600,000, is for a non-competitive program designed to address losses that nonprofits have experienced because of the pandemic. DeWitt says that if there is more need than there are available funds, the foundation may have to restructure the program to reduce the amount for each nonprofit.
“If requests exceed the amount we have available for the program we’ll have to go back and recalibrate the tiers, but we wanted to make sure that every entity that needs it has an opportunity to get some relief from the CARES Act funding.”
The deadline to apply for this CARES Act program is Aug. 17.
The second, smaller program, with a total pot of $300,000, is designed to help organizations position themselves for future challenges. This program is competitive, and the application deadline is Aug. 24.
There is also $100,000 set aside to help individuals. This program is designed for Bethel residents who have lost income or have economic hardships related to COVID-19. The list of ways it can help is long.
“Mortgage or rent payments, utility payments, cellphone, internet, gift cards for groceries, helping out with insurance payments, you name it. It could really be a number of different sort of bills that people need assistance with,” said DeWitt.
DeWitt says that Bethel Community Services Foundation is partnering with Tundra Women’s Coalition to manage this program. Applications can be submitted to Tundra Women’s Coalition online at tundrapeace.org. For more information, contact Louise Angaiak at 907-543-3444.