Lancaster County’s board of commissioners on Wednesday approved a slate of grants for a range of programs, including funds to support nursing services at the Lancaster County Prison to administer drugs that help addicts recover from opioid withdrawal, home repairs for low-income homeowners, and tech upgrades for the county’s library system.
Much of the funds are tied to 2021 American Rescue Plan Act funds that went directly to the state of Pennsylvania. Now that money is trickling down to the county level through grants administered by agencies like the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Department of Human Services.
The largest pot of money likely coming to the county is from a new ARPA-funded Whole-Home Repairs program. The Lancaster County Housing and Redevelopment Authority is poised to receive $3.9 million to help low-income homeowners make critical fixes to their house so that they can safely live there, said LCHRA executive director Justin Eby.
The program will fold into the authority’s existing home-repair program, Eby said.
The commissioners also approved a $250,000 state ARPA grant to fund outpatient therapy for clients through the county’s crisis intervention unit. The county’s human services agency maintains a call center for the national 9-8-8 suicide prevention lifeline. The grant will underwrite a contract with TW Ponessa and Associates and Community Services group to provide outpatient therapy to people in a mental health crisis or referred from the 988 hotline.
Lancaster County Prison officials secured $500,000 from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for additional medical and counseling staff for inmates struggling with drug and alcohol use disorders. The grant, which does not directly come from state ARPA funds, also pays for a supply of drugs used for managing withdrawal symptoms, such as methadone and suboxone.
Using some of the $106 million the county received under ARPA, the commissioners approved a $352,600 grant to the Lancaster County Library system for a new setup for its computer servers and replacement of the library system’s WiFi network, which serves users at 18 libraries throughout the county.