Roseville approves CDBG funds for nonprofits

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published April 30, 2021

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ROSEVILLE — The Roseville City Council unanimously approved its Community Development Block Grant nonprofit distributions for fiscal year 2022 at its regular meeting April 13.

Eleven nonprofit organizations received a portion of the grant money that comes annually from the federal government.

“This year, we saw a decrease in our funding from HUD,” explained Jim Gammicchia, the city’s administrative services administrator. “This year, we received 10 applications versus the four we received last year. For 2022, we only can use 15% of the funding from the government for public service allocations. That equates to $89,182 in total, and those go toward all public service distributions, not just the agencies that have applied. We also use it for some other repair projects.”

Although less money was granted by the federal government, more was requested by nonprofits and a larger percentage of the funds received by Roseville went to those nonprofits.

“For the 2022 distributions, $87,700 was requested. This was a more-than 270% increase over last year’s requests,” said Gammicchia. “Grantees are slotted to receive an increase of 221%. Last year, it was $21,500 that was given out, and this year, it is $47,700.”

Other improvement projects done by the city also are eligible for such funds, and some of the federal grant money will go toward those initiatives.

“Although we had approximately $89,000 available, we do have improvement projects that we are committed to,” City Manager Scott Adkins said. “These are improvement projects that the city runs that can use this type of federal funds, such as home improvement or city rehabilitation projects. However, we are giving out more than the recommended amount of these funds to these organizations.”

The exact projects the remaining CDBG money will go to hasn’t been determined yet.

Macomb Feeding the Need requested $3,000 and received $2,000. The Macomb Homeless Coalition requested $15,000 and received $4,000. The Roseville Public Library requested $2,000 and received $1,500. Turning Point requested $1,700 and received $1,000. St. Vincent de Paul requested $10,000 and received $8,000. Care House requested $12,000 and received $2,000. Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers requested $1,000 and received $850. MATTS requested $15,000 and received $5,000. CHORE-MCA Grass and Snow requested $20,000 and received $16,000. The Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team requested $7,000 and received $6,500. Maggie’s Wigs4Kids requested $1,000 and received $850.

Most of the organizations requested more money from Roseville than they received, but Adkins explained that the amounts given out were divided so that the city could provide funds to all of the organizations that put in a request.

“The amounts given versus the amounts requested are unfortunately a necessary case of addition by subtraction,” he remarked. “These distributions were made according to advice from our Citizens Advisory Council. Any potential changes to the total of funds available would be distributed equally among the organizations receiving the funds. … We wanted to provide some level of funding to everyone who applied.”

Several representatives of the nonprofits were present at the meeting to share with people how the money is used and how it benefits the community.

“Turning Point has been part of Macomb County for more than 40 years now,” said Melissa Coleman, the director of Turning Point, which is based in Mount Clemens. “We provide wraparound services for survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual violence. In the fiscal year 2020, 73 shelter bed nights were provided to eight Roseville survivors, and this included three children. During those 73 nights, it cost Turning Point approximately $1,500, and we provided shelter as well as basic needs such as toiletries, clothing, diapers, formula, meals, crisis intervention, case management, children supportive services and advocacy, as well as support groups.”

“What we do here at Wigs4Kids is that we are a local, grassroots nonprofit organization that provides wigs and support services to children,” said Maggie Varney, the founder and CEO of Maggie’s Wigs4Kids. “We work with various oncology departments, but we also work with children who suffer hair loss due to any reason. There are many reasons children can experience this. They can be a burn survivor or alopecia or blood disorders or Down syndrome. This lets these kids take part in society and be with their friends without having to be made fun of or bullied.”

She also said that organizations like hers directly help Roseville residents.

“We have serviced 10 children from this community, and we currently have one in our program,” said Varney. “We have serviced over 4,900 children throughout the state of Michigan, the majority of which come from the Detroit area. … Not one dime of this money goes toward administrative fees or salaries. Most of our professionals are volunteers.”

Cheryl Becigneul, of Macomb Feeding the Need, said that this sort of funding is more important than ever because of COVID-19.

“COVID has really hit us hard, because we are still feeding the community, but now we also are doing mobile food pantries twice a month instead of once a month,” Becigneul said. “We’re not just feeding the homeless anymore; we’re now focused on feeding families. It seems like families have been hit hard by this pandemic.”

Coleman agreed that COVID has increased the demand for nonprofit services.

“Even during COVID, we have remained open and offer comprehensive services to individuals who need assistance,” she said. “We have our 24-hour crisis hotline, our emergency shelter, home-based community housing, advocacy for those leaving the shelter programs, our secondhand thrift store and legal advocacy. I wish I could say that Macomb County residents and residents in Roseville don’t need our services, but that is not true. … This money goes directly to those things that I mentioned going to the actual survivors. Our salaries and staff costs come from other funds.”

Each organization stressed that the CDBG money will go directly toward aiding those they help and will not be part of any administration or staff costs.

“No one gets paid at Feeding the Need,” said Becigneul. “It is all volunteer, and every penny that comes in goes toward keeping us running.”

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