Three nonprofit agencies that provide services to Sandy Springs residents affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 will get another $630,769 in federal relief funds with the City Council’s approval on Nov. 17.

Madalyn Smith, a Community Development planner for the city, told the council that the money supplements a first round of Community Development Block Grant funds received in the spring. The new funding also will be awarded to local nonprofits to assist Sandy Springs citizens who are low- to moderate-income.

Funds will go toward continued educational programming, food and rental assistance. The money also will support new programs targeting Latino youths and provide the Community Assistance Center, a local nonprofit, with part-time aid to process the increase in requests for services.

The CAC will receive the bulk of the funds, with $535,769 being used primarily for rent relief for residents who suffered job losses due to the pandemic.

Mayor Rusty Paul said he’s been visiting the three nonprofits to see how they are doing and who they serve. He spoke with Tamara Carrera, the CAC’s executive director, on Nov. 16, and heard that their biggest need now is rental assistance. Many people are donating food and supplies.

“So far they’ve been able to, using these funds, prevent a lot of people from being forced out of their homes in Sandy Springs,” he said.

Carrera told him that CAC needed more funds because they are running out of money to provide rental assistance.

Los Niños Primeros continues its education program with a $60,000 grant. The nonprofit’s mission is to prepare underserved Latino pre-school children for educational success by providing opportunities to develop their language, cognitive, social, and motor skills.

Sandy Springs Mission will receive the remaining $35,000. The nonprofit will use the funds to help Latino students at North Springs and Riverwood International Charter high schools whose studies have suffered with the added burdens placed on them by the pandemic. The joint program with Los Niños Primeros will work to help the students overcome the setbacks including struggles with remote learning.

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Reporter Newspapers.