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File #: 21-986   
Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 6/28/2021 In control: Special Meeting
On agenda: 7/13/2021 Final action:
Title: Receive information from community stakeholders regarding the immediate and long-term needs of the community as a result of the pandemic and its negative economic impacts and, in particular, the needs of households that were disproportionately and negatively impacted by the public health emergency and direct staff accordingly. (For possible action)
Attachments: 1. Staff Report, 2. Interim Final Rule.pdf, 3. State and Local Recovery Funds FAQ 6.24.pdf, 4. Clark County strategic priorities.pdf, 5. Meeting Handout 071321 BCC Item No. 3.pdf, 6. Documents Submitted at Meeting 071321.pdf
Date Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo/Audio
7/13/2021 Special Meeting  

Agenda note: DOCUMENT(S): Submitted 1. Clark County American Rescue Plan Act Workshop (24 pages) Submitted by Management Partners 2. Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada Recovery Act Funding Priorities (5 pages) submitted by Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada 3. Vegas PBS Family Engagement (2 pages) Submitted by Vegas PBS 4. UNLV Rebel Rebound Program (2 pages) Submitted by UNLV SPEAKER(S): Present DISCUSSION: Following introduction of the item, the Board was addressed by Andrew Belknap, Senior Vice President of Management Partners, who advised that Clark County had been very active with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funding, allocating over $275 million dollars in federal funding; discussed key outcomes of the previous uses of the CARES funds including food assistance, rent and/or utility assistance, and medical services; and together with University Medical Center and the Southern Nevada Health District, assisted residents with urgent medical issues and COVID testing. Commissioner Gibson commented on rental assistance; advised that funds were delivered to landlords to cover tenants’ rent; and commented that the Board was aware there were several landlords and tenants waiting for rental relief. Mr. Belknap continued with the presentation by providing a brief overview of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA),which focused on recovery; Clark County would receive $440 million dollars over the next two years; detailed approved uses of the funding; advised that the Qualified Census Tracts (QCT) expanded the ways in which the County could utilize funding; commented on the impact of COVID-19 in Clark County, from an economic and a medical perspective; unemployment had been declining but not yet to pre-pandemic levels; the plan had to comply with federal laws; the County was both a municipal service provider and a regional service provider, and was not considered an affluent county as median income reflected that many residents worked paycheck to paycheck; and provided overviews of housing, poverty, population growth, and new hotel construction in the County. Byron Marshall, consultant with the National Forum of Black Public Administrators, provided details on where the public could obtain the latest information on ARPA; advised of upcoming workshops, town hall meetings with the Commissioners, and Community and Stakeholder surveys; pre-applications for funding would be available on July 14, 2021 and due for submission on July 26, 2021; outlined the process the County would use to evaluate and process the pre-applications; recommended criteria for prioritizing funds would be submitted to the Board in August for review; innovative programs that indicated sufficient change using a few dollars over time would be sub-scored; and further advised that all funds needed to be obligated by December 31, 2024 and spent by December 31, 2026. Barbara Buckley, Executive Director of Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, advised of assisting families and partnering with the County since the beginning of the pandemic; identified four operational areas as being critical for investment of ARPA funds: (1) Consumer Protection, (2) Eviction Prevention, (3) Education Advocacy, and (4) the needs of domestic violence victims. Assemblywoman Venicia Considine, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, continued the presentation by identifying two capital areas that were chosen for ARPA funds: (1) a permanent home for the Children’s Attorneys Project and (2) a permanent home for Nevada’s first Victim’s Rights Center. Kipp Ortenburger, Vegas PBS, spoke regarding pre-kindergarten children and the closures of childcare centers; and the non-availability of structured learning; advised of the need for supplemental learning for low- and moderate-income families; and further advised that Vegas PBS provided free, over-the-air programming on the PBS Kids channel, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Jessica Russell, Vegas PBS, proposed five family workshops to any new, expanded or enhanced early learning programs; the workshops would provide support for children’s social, emotional, and educational learning; advised of working with national evaluators to determine outcomes; and further advised that the cost would depend on the number of programs provided to the community through the funding. Sunny Gittens, Executive Director for Student Engagement at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) spoke regarding a request for funding to expand the UNLV Rebel Rebound Program, which provided access to higher education, financial aid assistance and support, and career development for formerly incarcerated individuals and those who had been previously arrested or had criminal convictions; and further advised of the availability of housing that could be accessed by parole officers to schedule required visits with parolees. Kevin Wong, a collegiate policy debater at UNLV and an Associate Justice on the school’s judicial counsel, advised of being previously incarcerated; spoke regarding the collateral consequences of convictions, arrests, and indictments; nearly 70 million Americans, mostly from racial minority and LGBTQ groups, possessed a criminal record, and further spoke of the necessity of the Rebel Rebound Program. Ms. Gittens concluded the presentation and advised that the funds requested would allow UNLV to launch more comprehensive programs; and provided the annual estimated cost of the program. Commissioner Kirkpatrick outlined the procedures for the questioning phase of the workshop. Assemblywoman Venicia Considine, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, returned to address the Board and spoke regarding the two capital program requests to be submitted for ARPA funding; provided a brief background of the first program, Children’s Attorneys Project; advised that the project represented approximately 6,000 children a year; offices were being rented across from Family Court, and there was the option of purchasing the property using the ARPA funds; the second capital program request covered the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center (Center); advised that the Legal Aid Center acquired management of the Center in 2019; services were currently being provided to survivors, families, and first responders; the Legal Aid Center owned a building on 8th Street and Gass Avenue and wanted to convert the structure into the State’s first victim’s rights center which would house the domestic violence program, the immigration advocacy program, and the Center under one roof to provide victims of crimes easy access to services and therapy. Responding to questions from the Board, Ms. Buckley advised that the Center was a multi-agency collaboration, and if funded, all agencies would be housed in one location; statistics were gathered from the partners and provided, along with outcomes, to the Federal Government in the grant report, and the procedure would be followed for any program that received County funding; included in the report would be the number of people served, the services performed for the person, and the outcome; and further advised that Congresswoman Dina Titus was working to obtain an earmark for the Center. In response to questions from the Board, Jessica Russell, Vegas PBS, spoke of the difficulty of determining how many workshops and programs might result from ARPA funding, and provided the calculations used in the determination; advised that throughout the year, families received books which supported classroom curriculum; classes were being held in Clark County School District classrooms, either in person or virtually; spoke of the current funding of programs by Zoom, Nevada Ready Pre-K Program, and Clark County; and outlined the Family Engagement Day process held at schools. Responding to questions from the Board, Sunny Gittens, UNLV, advised that the admissions application did not require applicants to disclose criminal convictions, but estimated that there were several hundred students who were justice-impacted; spoke of program-participant concerns including navigating the Internet, peer-mentor support, and affordable housing; spoke regarding the budget needed for program implementation, and the sustainability of programs should funding cease. Commissioner Kirkpatrick suggested conducting a record-sealing event or other social service events to assist residents. Dr. Mark Scott, Culinary Academy of Las Vegas (Culinary Academy), spoke regarding the Culinary Academy’s plan to improve food insecurity infrastructure; advised that over 16 million pounds of food had been delivered within Southern Nevada during the pandemic; many students who attended the Culinary Academy came from food insecure households/zip codes; addressed food insecurities from the communities currently being served and branching out to other areas; advised that 18 months of data had been collected, covering areas such as the number of people who resided in a household that received food baskets; and would like to establish food infrastructure on the current campus and at a possible second campus. Derrick Gyamfi, Culinary Academy, built the computer systems that collected macro-level data; that data included, but was not limited to, applicants who need childcare assistance, public assistance, transportation assistance, and those who did not have a high school diploma; advised that 90% of the applicants to the Culinary Academy had a household income under $35,000; if a plan was not assembled from a digital resiliency and occupational mobility standpoint, residents would continue to struggle; spoke regarding digital literacy; requested the County’s support in an investment of $17.9 million dollars to apply digital and transferable skills training to allow workers to seek, find, and retain employment, and would fund programs that provide workers with knowledge, software, and hardware training. Responding to questions from the Board, Dr. Scott advised of the placement of recipes in the boxes of donated groceries to assist in food preparation and portion control; smaller boxes were prepared and donated to senior citizens, free lunches and prepared meals were provided to students; further advised of serving approximately 3,000 students annually at the current campus and could serve a minimum of 5,000 students annually should a second campus become available; would be requesting support from the State, and would be applying for Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants; advised of workforce training for people to learn multiple skills; and spoke of the expansion of indoor urban agriculture. Responding to questions from the Board, Mr. Gyamfi, spoke regarding the core fundamental issues and certifications of the digital literacy program; advised of various programs under the wireless initiative to support broadband and internet access; a mobile classroom would be positioned in underserved communities with an access point to reach communities, and an instructor would be present to assist with the completion of job applications. Responding to a question from Commissioner Jones, Jessica Colvin, Clark County Chief Financial Officer, explained the application approval process; advised there were no limits or thresholds placed on the dollar amount requested; following additional town hall meetings and Board meetings, criteria would be established to score the applications; and was awaiting direction from the Board as to what the priorities would be. Mr. Belknap advised of preparing a outline of the prioritization process to be reviewed by the Board on August 3, 2021. Yolanda King, County Manager, advised of the necessity of understanding the priority use of the funds; once the priorities were announced by the Board, a recommendation would be presented to the Board outlining priorities and criteria, and staff would score the applications; advised of the importance that Management Partners be included in the various meetings and would gather and collate any feedback from said meetings to summarize the requests for funds; based on the success of programs funded by ARPA, the County could review and put County funds in place to continue the programs. Mr. Belknap advised that the County had to notify the U.S. Department of the Treasury by the end of August, 2021 on how the funds would be allocated; and the notifications could be changed if needed, after that date. Kevin Schiller, Assistant County Manager, spoke regarding consultant interactions and projections in conjunction with various programs. Commissioner Kirkpatrick provided the dates and times for the upcoming Local Recovery Plan meetings; discussed with the Board regarding the presentation and question allotment time for presenters at subsequent meetings; and suggested that tonight’s presenters could submit additional documentation or PowerPoint presentations to the individual Commissioners for review; advised that Zach Conine, Nevada State Treasurer, would be in attendance at the August 3, 2021 Board of County Commissioners meeting to discuss the State’s plan for public engagement.
  Action details Meeting details Video/Audio Video/Audio





Yolanda King, County Manager



Receive information from community stakeholders regarding the immediate and long-term needs of the community as a result of the pandemic and its negative economic impacts and, in particular, the needs of households that were disproportionately and negatively impacted by the public health emergency and direct staff accordingly.  (For possible action)  





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Additional Comments:




Clark County was recently awarded $440 million in Coronavirus State and Local Government Fiscal Recovery Funds (Fiscal Recovery Funds) under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  These resources lay the foundation for a strong, equitable economic recovery, not only by providing immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses, but also by addressing the systemic public health and economic challenges that may have contributed to more severe impacts of the pandemic among low-income communities and people of color.  Low-income communities and workers and people of color have faced more severe health and economic outcomes during the pandemic, with pre-existing social vulnerabilities such as low-wage or insecure employment, concentrated neighborhoods with less economic opportunity, and pre-existing health disparities likely contributing to the magnified impact of the pandemic.

Under ARPA, local governments have been afforded greater discretion in designated low-income areas. There are approximately 100 of these Qualified Census Tracts (QCT) within Clark County. This additional discretion is intended to allow local governments to address systematic public health and economic challenges that hinder these communities.

Other areas of public health have also been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  For example, several surveys have shown an increase in reported symptoms of depression or anxiety in American adults.  The proportion of children’s emergency room visits related to mental health has also risen noticeably.  Similarly, rates of substance misuse and overdose deaths have spiked:  preliminary data from the CDC show a nearly 30 percent increase in drug overdose mortality from September 2019 to September 2020. Stay-at-home
orders and other pandemic responses may have also reduced the ability of individuals affected by domestic violence to access services.

Clark County is requesting community stakeholders to provide a brief overview of potential programs and services designed to address the challenges our hardest hit communities are facing.  Eligible programs and services include but are not limited to the following:

                                          Improve access to healthcare, behavioral health, and substance abuse services;
                                          Evidence-based community violence intervention programs;
                                          Assistance to households or populations facing negative economic impacts due to COVID-19;
                                          o                     food assistance; rent, mortgage, or utility assistance; counseling and legal aid to prevent                                                                                     eviction or homelessness; emergency assistance for burials, home repairs, weatherization,                                                                or other needs; internet access or digital literacy assistance; or job training
                                          U.S. Treasury will presume that certain types of services, outlined below, are eligible uses when                                                                provided in a QCT, to families and individuals living in QCTs:                     
                                          o                     New, expanded, or enhanced early learning services;
                                          o                     Evidence-based educational services and practices to address the academic needs of                                                                                     students; including tutoring, summer, after school, and other extended learning and                                                                                     enrichment programs;
                                          o                     Evidence-based practices to address the social, emotional, and mental health needs of                                                                                     students;
                                          o                     New or expanded high-quality childcare to provide safe and supportive care for children;
                                          o                     Home visiting programs to provide structured visits from health, parent educators, and                                                                                     social service professionals to pregnant women or families with young children; and
                                          o                     Enhanced services for child welfare-involved families and foster youth to provide support                                                                and training on child development, positive parenting, coping skills, or recovery for                                                                                     mental health and substance use challenges.

                                          More information regarding eligible services can be found in the attached Interim Final Rule                                                                (pages 10 - 33)

Presentations should provide a brief overview of the program and should include the following:
                                          Identify the community needs and barriers addressed;
                                          Identify which of the County’s attached “Strategic Priorities” the program addresses;
                                          How the services provided will assist in the community’s overall recovery;
                                          How the services provided will address root causes and lead to sustainable improvements;
                                          How many individuals, units or households will be impacted;
                                          Estimated cost of the program;
                                          The intended outcomes; and
                                          How the outcomes will be measured.