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UCHRA Working Towards Multimillion-Dollar Grant Application For UC Needs

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UCHRA Working Towards Multimillion-Dollar Grant Application For UC Needs

UCHRA will apply for a 3-year, $25 million state grant to address multiple needs in the Upper Cumberland Region.

Director Mark Farley said the plan is to use the funding to create one-access point to streamline services.

“We’re going up against some stiff competition,” Farley said. “We’ll be going up against the United Ways, large foundations in Nashville and those areas. But, our argument is going to be we are a rural region. If you put all your money in the urban areas, you’re not going to solve our problems. Let us be your test case.”

Farley said rather than the agency using the money, funds would be spread to local programs across the region. Farley said before the large grant can be applied for, UCHRA most earn a preliminary planning grant. Farley said that application is due October 15th.

“We’ve already started laying the ground work,” Farley said. “There’s a planning grant that we are in the process of finishing our application for. (…) That is a three-month planning grant that hopefully we will be awarded $500,000 to work towards the opportunity grant.”

Farley said the money comes from the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Opportunity Act, a pilot initiative through the state department of human services to better allocate federal funding to vulnerable families. Farley said work on forming a coalition for the funding has already began.

“We’ve had detailed meetings with Tennessee Tech, the hospital foundation, workforce development down the road, our faith-based groups,” Farley said. “We’ve had a couple of different meetings with our community churches.”

Farley said the agency has also hired a poverty reduction consultant from New Mexico to assist with the application. While planning grants will be more available, only two opportunity grants will be awarded in Middle Tennessee.

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