Kane County awards $2 million in grants to nonprofits

TriCity Family Services in Geneva is one of six Kane County behavioral and mental health nonprofits to be getting grants through federal relief funds.

A portion of Kane County’s share of COVID-19 federal relief funds will soon be in the hands of local charitable organizations.

The Kane County Board unanimously approved grants totaling $2 million to six nonprofit behavioral and mental health organizations. They include the Association for Individual Development (AID) in Aurora, Family Services Association of Greater Elgin Area, Family Counseling Service of Aurora, Ecker Center for Behavioral Health in Elgin, TriCity Family Services in Geneva and Mutual Ground in Aurora.

“At TriCity Family Services, since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a dramatic increase in our waitlist for those in our community who are seeking services,” said Laura Poss, executive director of TriCity Family Services in Geneva. “Our mission is to serve and this grant money will help us tremendously with that mission. “We are thrilled and this is exactly what we needed to better serve our community. This is a great day for us and for the other organizations serving our community members.”

Each of the six organizations will receive $333,333 from the county’s Community Support Grant Program and will be used to help address the demand for services and staffing shortages caused by the pandemic.

“We currently at the Association for Individual Development (AID) have 650 positions, 150 of which are vacant at this time, and then we just have experienced the Omicron surge where we had anywhere from 30 to 50 staff members at a time that were ill as well, which makes it very difficult to provide the services and support that people with disabilities need,” said Lore Baker, President and CEO of the Association for Individual Development (AID) in Aurora while addressing the Kane County Board. “Thank you very much for continuing to listen to the not-for-profits in Kane County and doing what you can to get money into our hands as quickly as possible in order to try to ameliorate the effects of our workforce crisis.”

The county is currently in the process of reviewing the applications of 63 other nonprofit organizations which support programs addressing mental health, housing instability and food insecurity. The goal is to have an additional $2 million in funding from the Community Support Grant program awarded as early as next month.

“These grants give Kane County the opportunity to make transformative changes to how behavioral health is addressed with long term opportunity for improvement,” according to Michael Isaacson, assistant director of Community Health with the Kane County Health Department.

The funding for Kane County’s Community Support Grant Program comes from $103 million from the American Rescue Plan Act.