ST. LOUIS - Today, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones’ administration released a framework for the distribution of $68 million in direct relief from federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to help St. Louis residents and businesses recover from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

The initial framework for the infusion of funds - informed by the mayor’s Stimulus Advisory Board and more than 2,500 city residents to ensure equitable distribution - will deliver rapid assistance to households and businesses most in need in the City of St. Louis. In line with national best practices, the Stimulus Advisory Board recommends that the city appropriate direct relief funds designed to meet the critical needs of individuals, families, businesses and neighborhoods across the city first, before turning to infrastructure needs and larger transformative investments. This portion of direct relief funding is therefore only the first step in a long, community-driven effort to transform St. Louis with these crucial federal funds.

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The current framework focuses on six top priorities:

  • Critical Health Needs: Begin mobile vaccination efforts, community canvassing and more to increase vaccine access in low-income communities

  • Housing and Utility Assistance: Expand and expedite rental and mortgage assistance efforts, including legal assistance

  • Support for Unhoused Neighbors: Fund an intentional encampment for those not ready for a shelter environment as well as a 24-hour shelter

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    Economic Relief: Facilitate small business grants, provide startups and small businesses ready to scale with technical assistance and workforce development

  • Youth & Job Programming: Expand youth programming at recreation centers, adding social workers to recreation centers to address the behavioral and mental health needs of young people in St. Louis and making recreation centers vaccine hubs for youth

  • Expanding Internet Access: Install Public wifi points in portions of the city with lowest rates of internet access, partnership with St. Louis Public Libraries (SLPL) to increase access to phones, tablets, routers and mobile hotspots.

To read the full memo with a comprehensive list of recommendations, click here. The City received nearly $250 million from the federal government on Friday.

In the spirit of opening and democratizing the spending of these funds, the public is invited to sign up to share feedback on the plan on Thursday, June 3, at 5:30pm. Mayor Jones continues to urge city residents to share their priorities for the total $517 million in federal funds St. Louis is set to receive from the American Recovery Act via the People’s Agenda page on the Mayor’s website. For more information on the Stimulus Advisory Board, click here.

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