Families with children with disabilities or special medical needs adversely affected by COVID-19 can now receive grants of up to $500 each through a new CARES Act initiative set up in Anne Arundel County.
The grants will be administered from a $45,000 partnership with The Arc Central Chesapeake Region, an organization that provides services and supports to people with disabilities. County Executive Steuart Pittman announced the partnership Friday.
Anne Arundel County residents with children up to age 21 with disabilities can apply for the grant through Dec. 31, according to a news release. Parents can apply online through www.thearcccr.org/familysupportsgrant.
“This program will provide parents and caregivers the freedom and in-home support to attend to their own health needs,” Pittman said. “This includes the ability to isolate or quarantine, or tend to important family and household matters while their children with disabilities receive appropriate care and support.”
The funding can go toward childcare so parents can complete necessary tasks; recover from COVID-19; work; complete tasks they cannot complete with the child, or take a mental break.
President and CEO of The Arc Jonathon Rondeau said he’s thrilled to partner with the county to provide this funding.
“This program will help parents who need additional support for their child due to the pandemic, and is a much-needed resource for so many families in our community at this time,” Rondeau said.
The new grant program is in line with Pittman’s other expenditures of the $101 million in federal CARES Act funding, heavily focusing on creating a safety net for the county’s most vulnerable residents. Other funding has been provided to prevent evictions with payments to renters and housing counseling, a food assistance phone line, utility bill assistance, grants to small businesses, child care providers, restaurants, nonprofits, and volunteer firefighters.
Pittman has until Dec. 30 to spend the CARES Act money or return it to the federal government. Though there has been some talk in Congress about extending the deadline for state and local governments to spend the money, Pittman said he is not confident that will happen and is trying to spend the money on appropriate uses before the deadline.
More information about how the county has spent the federal CARES Act funding is available online at https://www.aacounty.org/openarundel/covid-19/federal-assistance-expenditures/index.html.