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Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Funding

Background information

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was established to provide aid to all states to respond and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the CARES Act is the creation of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), which allows reimbursement to local governments, agencies, non-profits, long term care facilities, and residents for approved expenditures during the covered period. Johnson County received more than $116 million in funding and established a three phased allocation plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic in our community.

Phase 1 (40% - 50% of the allocation) focuses on needs of local governments/other taxing jurisdictions within Johnson County, reimbursing expenses related to COVID-19 such as personal protective equipment (PPE), facility modifications to accommodate physical distancing, additional cleaning/disinfection and telework needs.

Phase 2 (30% - 50% of the allocation) focuses on community re-investment. Consistent with the Board of County Commissioner’s previously identified priorities, community survey responses, and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, six funding priorities will be addressed in this phase. These priorities include: 1) Mental Health, 2) Aging, 3) Housing, 4) Workforce Development 5) Small Business Support, and 6) Digital Access.

Phase 3 (10% - 30% of the allocation) focuses on contingency funds, additional re-investments in local government and the community, and allowance for any unused funds.

Phase 2: Community Reinvestment Process

In September 2020, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners approved $35,324,000 to fund 14 proposals recommended by a Community Reinvestment Committee, representing a group of nearly 80 Johnson County stakeholders who put together the plan. The application processes to apply for these funding programs will open up over the coming weeks.

Please click on a program to access a summary, award amount, contact information for the lead agency for each program and a link to that agency where you can begin the application process. Details on the funded proposals and the process the committee followed are available here. Information on other CARES Act funded programs in the community (separate from Johnson County Government’s program) is available here.


Direct Grants to Small Businesses

Award amount: $13,500,000
Summary: This proposal addresses the economic relief that is essential for small businesses that are experiencing economic hardship amid the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. employee loss, loss of revenue, PPE expenses, etc.).

Currently, the application process is being developed and the date to apply has not been announced.  An announcement regarding the process to apply and when applications will be accepted will be announced shortly and communicated by the county, local chambers of commerce and the Enterprise Center in Johnson County.

Lead agency: Enterprise Center in Johnson County 
Contact: Jeff Shackelford, [email protected]

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Direct Grants to Cultural Arts Businesses

Award amount: $135,000
Summary: This proposal addresses the economic relief that is essential for cultural arts small businesses (individual artists) who are experiencing economic hardship in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. employee loss, loss of revenue, PPE expenses, etc.).

Currently, the application process is being developed and the date to apply has not been announced.  An announcement regarding the process to apply and when applications will be accepted will be announced shortly and communicated by the county, local chambers of commerce and the Enterprise Center in Johnson County.

Lead agency: The Arts Council of Johnson County  
Contact: Sarah VanLanduyt, [email protected], 913-894-2720

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School Age Remote Learning and Childcare Program

Award amount: $4,200,000
Summary: The request is to be able to offer school age child care/remote learning services to families where the need is greatest due to the necessity of parents continuing to work, and in many cases, the absence of reliable high-speed internet at home. This program will also provide operational grant financing to cover school age programming startup costs and support for the provider’s contingency planning should school districts change their remote/hybrid plans with little notice.

Lead agency: YMCA of Greater Kansas City
Contact information: John Mikos, [email protected]816-360-3390

Lead agency: JCPRD
Contact information: Jeff Stewart, JCPRD Registration Office, [email protected]913-831-3359

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Short-term Workforce Skills Training and Workforce Supports

Award amount: $5,000,000
Summary: This proposal addresses the economic need to upskill, re-skill and provide wrap-around support for those whose employment or earnings have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.  It also includes training in digital literacy/foundational computer skills for residents who have no or low computer literacy, as well as training in management and leadership for residents needing to advance current skills. It will also include Adult Basic Education/GED completion programs and ESL programs for residents who need them.

Lead agency: Workforce Partnership 
Contact information: Keely Schneider, [email protected], 913-577-5900

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Rent, Utility, and Mortgage Assistance

Award amount: $3,316,000
Summary: This proposal addresses the economic need of  Johnson County households who have lost income stability to maintain their current housing in order to prevent homelessness, boost mental health (less stress due to housing burden), support ongoing employment and education, protect credit, and preserve existing housing stock and small businesses by assuring creditors and landlords’ bills are met. Individuals in need of may call United Way’s information and referral help line by calling 211 or 816-474-5112 or toll free 866-320-5764.

Lead agency – Rent and Utility Assistance Fund: United Way of Greater Kansas City
Contact information: Jim MacDonald, [email protected]

Lead agency – Legal Assistance: Kansas Legal Services
Contact information: Casey Johnson, [email protected]

Lead agency: Johnson County Aging and Human Services Department
Contact information: Deborah Collins, [email protected], 913-715-8850

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Emergency Housing Solutions

Award amount: $400,000
Summary: The goal of this proposal is to provide emergency housing for Johnson County households currently without adequate income to obtain lodging on their own in order to prevent and mitigate the further spread of COVID-19. Households will be connected to local human services organizations if desired to assist them in planning for their next housing option, or if they need assistance meeting their members’ basic needs for food, etc.

Lead agency: Johnson County Aging and Human Services Department
Contact information: Deborah Collins, [email protected], 913-715-8801

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Direct Assistance for Household Internet, IT Upcycling and Project Mgmt.

Award amount: $1,000,000
Summary: This proposal addresses the need to respond to and meet the direct need for digital access (Internet service and devices) to underserved low- and fixed-income households impacted by COVID-19 to ensure education, employment, access to health services, basic needs, case management and social isolation.

Lead agency: Johnson County Department of Technology and Innovation
Contact information: Bill Lopez, [email protected], 913-715-2101

Lead agency: KC Digital Drive 
Contact information: Aaron Deacon, [email protected]913-475-9885

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Rural Johnson County Fiber Service

Award amount: $375,000
Summary: This proposal addresses the need to push fiber into western rural Johnson County to respond to changes in education (for families with children in the DeSoto School District), work, health and human service delivery, needs, and access due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Lead agency: City of Desoto 
Contact information: Mike Brungardt, [email protected], 913-586-5253

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Digital Navigators

Award amount: $334,000
Summary: The goal of this project is to provide support for Johnson County residents who lack digital access and skills who have been impacted by COVID-19 in one or more areas including education, work, securing basic needs and/or health and human services (e.g., low income seniors, low-income households).

Lead agency: Johnson County Library 
Contact information: Sean Casserley, [email protected], 913-826-4705

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Visitation Structure/Space for Senior Care Organizations

Award amount: $860,000
Summary: The goal of this project is to provide safe visitation options for individuals living in senior congregate settings in various weather conditions. Funding would support remodeling an interior room or erecting a temporary stand-alone structure (outdoors) at long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, or skilled independent living facilities to ensure that seniors have access to a climate-controlled, socially distanced space that would allow for safe visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lead agency: Johnson County Aging and Human Services Department
Contact information: Deborah Collins, [email protected], 913-715-8801

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Social Isolation Virtual Programming

Award amount: $174,000
Summary: This proposal seeks to reduce the social isolation of 1,000 Johnson County older adults by offering approximately 100 virtual educational opportunities to engage those facing isolation and lack of social connection and minimize social isolation due to COVID-19. Broad categories of offerings could include art, history, humanities, current events, health/nutrition education, and evidence-based programs among others.

Lead agency: K-State Extension Council    
Contact information: [email protected]913-715-7000

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Transportation to Support Health, Workforce, and Food Access for Seniors During COVID-19

Award amount: $280,000
Summary: This proposal seeks to provide transportation vouchers for seniors and their caregivers to travel to medical appointments and work, and to provide grocery store vouchers for seniors so they have access to healthy fresh food.

Lead agency: Johnson County Aging and Human Services Department 
Contact information: Deborah Collins, [email protected], 913-715-8850

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COVID-19 Rapid Testing Machines (targeted for older adult care facilities)

Award amount: $2,850,000
Summary: This proposal addresses purchasing rapid testing equipment and test cartridge kits for senior living facilities (which have not already received funding for these) allowing for immediate results and facilitating safe care and visitation in these settings. Additionally, the purchase of rapid testing machines that can be deployed as mobile units allows these to be used in other settingsas needed to increase  testing and protect the entire community.

Lead agency: Johnson County Department of Health and Environment
Contact information: Dr. Sanmi Areola, [email protected], 913-477-8300

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Grant Support for Nonprofits providing Mental Health Services

Award amount: $2,000,000
Summary: This proposal provides grants to non-profit or governmental organizations that provide mental health, behavioral health and/or substance misuse and abuse programs and services to Johnson County residents and their caregivers experiencing mental health crises. Online applications will be not be available until October 19, 2020.

Lead agency: REACH Healthcare Foundation
Contact information: Brenda Sharpe, [email protected], 913-432-4196

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Removing Barriers to Accessing Behavioral Health Services 

Award amount: $300,000
Summary: This proposal addresses the need to remove barriers and educate the public about behavioral health services available within the community while improving access to those services to Johnson County residents within areas that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and have limited or no access to behavioral health services.

Lead agency: Johnson County Mental Health Department
Contact information: Tim DeWeese, [email protected], 913-826-4022

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Other CARES Act funded programs in the community

Johnson County Community College
Are you or is someone you know a Johnson County resident whose income was affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic? If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 through job loss, furloughs, layoffs or reduced hours, JoCoWorks and JCCC Continuing Education can help you gain free training to enhance your resume and increase your value in the workforce.

Kansas Eviction Prevention Program
The Kansas Eviction Prevention Program (KEPP) provides rental assistance to households that have missed one or more rent payment(s) as a result of the COVID pandemic. Landlords and tenants apply via a joint online process. If the application is approved, the landlord receives rental assistance funds directly from KEPP, applies KEPP funds to the tenant’s account, and waives late fees for the month(s) assistance was awarded. Approved tenants are eligible for a maximum of nine months of assistance, not to exceed $5,000 per household.

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Hotlines

If you have virus-related questions, call the Johnson County Community COVID-19 Hotline.

Staffed by public health professionals.
913-715-CV19 (2819)
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

State Reopening Kansas plan

Child care licensing COVID-19 hotline

913-477-8361
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF)
Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Sunday, 1 - 5 p.m.

Email KDHE or visit coronavirus.kdheks.gov.