Howard County Times
Howard County

Howard County distributes $1.5 million in federal CARES Act funding to 40 local nonprofits

Howard County this week announced $1.5 million in grants will be provided to 40 Howard County nonprofits. The grants are funded through the federal CARES Act and are part of the county’s Rise to the Challenge initiative to assist nonprofits.

At a news conference Thursday, on the seven-month anniversary of the first case of COVID-19 in the county, County Executive Calvin Ball presented the grants to 16 of the 40 nonprofits. The rest will be distributed throughout the coming weeks, according to the county. In total, Ball said there were 90 applicants and $8 million in requests for the grants.


“Nonprofit staff and their organizations are known for being able to stretch every dollar and make it count — even in the best economic times,” Ball said in a statement. “However, in times like these, when we are asking them, counting on them to do more with less, they need our help, too. And that’s why we’re here today, to recognize these innovative nonprofits who provide jobs, value and support to our community, and ensure that they, too, are able to survive.”

While Rise to the Challenge assists nonprofits, the HoCo RISE grant program has been helping county businesses navigate the pandemic. To date, HoCo RISE has provided 650 grants totaling $1.6 million to locally owned small retailers, provided grants to 45 local farms and granted 148 restaurants more than $370,000, according to a county news release. The business grants also supported 20 local hotels and provided $610,000 to 244 local child care facilities. Additionally, $750,000 was awarded to the Howard County arts community and live venues, with most of the money going to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia.


Jen Broderick, executive director of Bridges to Housing Stability, was one of the grant recipients. Bridges to Housing Stability helps prevent and end homelessness through affordable housing solutions in Howard County.

“This grant helps our staff meet those clients’ needs safely going forward,” Broderick said at the news conference.

Bita Dayhoff, president of the Community Action Council of Howard County, also spoke at the news conference and said the council would use the grant for the organization’s early childhood education program.

“[The grant] is going to use technology to bring the classroom into the living room for our children ages 3 to 5,” Dayhoff said. “It’s going to help us reduce the learning gap for low-income children who are in our community.”

The Rise to the Challenge grant recipients are:

  • A-OK Mentoring
  • Arc of Howard County
  • Autism Society
  • Bridges of Housing Stability
  • Bright Minds
  • Camp Attaway
  • Candlelight Concert Society
  • Columbia Community Care
  • Columbia Orchestra
  • Community Action Council
  • Community Ecology Institute
  • Community Foundation of HoCo
  • Downtown Columbia Arts
  • EcoWorks
  • Ellicott City Partnership
  • Feed Howard County
  • Foreign-Born Information and Referral Network
  • Free Bikes 4Kids Maryland Inc.
  • Grassroots
  • Health Tech Alley
  • Howard County Arts Council
  • Howard County Chinese School
  • Howard County Conservancy
  • Howard County Library System
  • Humanim
  • Just Living Advocacy
  • Kindness Pantry
  • Korean American Senior Association
  • My Covenant Place
  • National Society of Black Engineers
  • Neighbor Ride
  • Oakland Mills Online
  • Pearl Foundation
  • Power 52
  • Rebuilding Together HoCo
  • Sobar
  • Tau Pi Foundation
  • Voices for Children
  • VolunTeens
  • Way Station, part of Sheppard Pratt