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Wake County provided $20 million in COVID-19 relief funds to nonprofits. Who has the most?

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PITTSBORO, NC (WNCN) — Thava Mahadevan runs a small farm where he grows food for poor and homeless people with intellectual disabilities.

He can now feed more of them because Wake County is giving his group — XDS Inc. — $150,000 in COVID-19 relief funds.

“And our goal now is to extend what we’ve learned here through our Heat and Eat meal program to Wake County,” Mahadevan said.

Kelly Nivison wasn’t so lucky.

She asked the county for just $2,000 for her orchestral group, the Raleigh Camerata, but her request was denied.

“It was a bit disappointing,” she said.

They were among the winners and losers of the county’s Elevate Wake program, which gave out $20 million in federal grants to nonprofit organizations that had to apply.

“It seems like a lot, but there is so much need in the community that it hasn’t gone as far as we hoped because there has been so much demand,” said Matt Roylance, assistant director of community services for the county.

Hundreds of applications were received – 212 in total – demanding more than $148 million.

Only 71 lucky ones were chosen, leaving about two-thirds of those who asked for help left empty-handed.

“We thought about which nonprofit organizations don’t have another source of funding to turn to and if this really is the best option for them?” said Roylance.

Among the recipients getting the most money:

– Wake County Boys and Girls Club is receiving $2 million to move its Brentwood Club to Fox Road in Raleigh and will upgrade its HVAC systems and buy new buses.

— Haven House Services received $1 million to provide medical care and food to children in need.

– Dorothea Dix Park will receive $1 million to fix its sidewalks and make its restrooms ADA compliant.

Chris Dillon, the borough’s senior assistant manager, said some of the rejected groups called to inquire about the award process.

“And honestly, once we explained the process, we explained the judging and why their project wasn’t selected, there were no complaints,” Dillon said. “It was more of an understanding. And that’s why I don’t know anyone who still has churned feelings.”

But some organizations that didn’t receive any money said they hadn’t heard from anyone — and some didn’t even know they were being turned down until CBS 17 News told them.

“I actually had to go through the logs on the site and see if we were recommended or not and that’s how I found out,” Nivison said.

The winners now have to abide by a few rules.

Groups had to put goals in their applications, and now they have to meet them.

Mahadavan said the grant his group received will enable them to offer 100 more free meals every week for two years, saying this “will really give us an opportunity to engage with the homeless.”

Roylance says there are safeguards in place to ensure the money is spent properly, and Dillon says the county has partnered with the Triangle Council of Governments to help distribute and monitor the funds.

“So when an organization gets the funding, it has to come back and report on everything that has been agreed upon and there will be individual contracts with each agency or non-profit making sure that the public funds are spent for the purposes, for which they’re determined to have applied,” Dillon said.

For Mahadevan it is a fair trade.

“Sometimes it can feel like you’re jumping through a lot of hoops,” he said. “But these are necessary steps to protect since some of these funds are federal funds. We want to make sure we are good stewards of public money. So I think overall it’s a win-win situation.”

https://www.cbs17.com/digital-stories/wake-county-gave-20-million-in-covid-19-relief-funds-to-nonprofits-who-got-the-most/ Wake County provided $20 million in COVID-19 relief funds to nonprofits. Who has the most?

Dais Johnston

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