Cuyahoga County Health, Human Services, and Aging Committee Address Multiple Contracts

Cuyahoga County Health, Human Services, and Aging Committee Address Multiple Contracts

The Cuyahoga County Health, Human Services, and Aging committee reconvened on September 21, 2022 after a lengthy recess. Because of the break, the county had to hear and consider several contracts, some of which required lengthy presentations and review. The following is a summary of those presentations. Additionally, several of the funding proposals would be funded by dollars provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Facilities renovation for Cleveland Christian Home

The first contract was a $250,000 contract, funded by the District 3 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, which would help to renovate parts of the building which serve as a therapeutic space for those using their facility. The building is almost 100 years old, according to Chuck Tuttle, Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Christian Home, who provided some background information on the organization. He explained that the renovation is expected to cost $5 million and they have approximately $3.5 million raised thus far. Vice President Cheryl Stephens asked for a timetable of when the renovations would occur. Tuttle explained that the work is already underway, and he expects the work to be done in the next year. The contract was passed to the full council for consideration for second reading, which is a standard for allocations under the American Rescue Plan.

Facilities renovation Denison Avenue United Church of Christ

The second item was a distribution of $25,000 from the District 3 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, for the Denison Avenue United Church of Christ. Speaking on behalf of the item was Rev. Nozomi Ikuta. She explained the history of Denison Avenue United Church of Christ, as well as where the $25,000 would be allocated. These dollars would assist with the renovation of the kitchen and the gymnasium. The contract was passed to the full council for consideration for second reading, which is a standard for allocations under the American Rescue Plan.

Facilities renovation Gordon Square Health and Wellness Center

The third item, also from the District 3 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) would be $250,000 for The Centers for Families and Children and Circle Health Services, for the facility at the Gordon Square Health and Wellness Center. Testifying on behalf Erick Morse, CEO of The Centers for Families and Children, testified on the contract. The facility, located at 5209 Detroit Avenue, is being renovated and expanded with a total cost of $7 million. The current amount raised is close to $1 million, with $600,000 coming from the federal government, $100,000 from Ohio Capital Bill, and $250,000 “from Councilman Sweeney.”

The current amount raised is close to $1 million, with $600,000 coming from the federal government, $100,000 from Ohio Capital Bill, and $250,000 “from Councilman Sweeney.”

The remaining amount will be raised by New Market Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, as well as soon-to-be launched capital campaign. The project is scheduled to begin in late 2023 and be completed by 2024. Once completed, the building will able to accommodate an expanded staff of 120 individuals, as well as expanding the number of people served annually, from 3,000 to 6,000. Once complete, this site will deliver truly integrated care with mental health counseling, case management, outpatient drug and alcohol treatment, psychiatry, primary care, women’s health, HIV/AIDS care, teen health, family medicine, and pharmacy all under one roof, according to the written testimony for Mr. Morse. The contract was passed to the full council for consideration for second reading, which is a standard for allocations under the American Rescue Plan. The contract was passed 3 votes affirming and one recusal, Councilman Dale Miller, due to a conflict.

Behavioral health program AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland

The fourth item was an award not to exceed $400,000 to the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland for the evolution behavioral health program. This money would be dispersed through the District 10 allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act funding. Speaking to this item was Rebecca Strong, Director of Development for the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, Tracey Jones, Executive Director, Anthony Forbes, Interim Director of Services, and Miquel Brazil, the Project manager.

The project is aimed at supporting the behavioral health needs of youth and young adults ages 14-30 through text messaging.

The project is aimed at supporting the behavioral health needs of youth and young adults ages 14-30 through text messaging. This can come in the form of appointment reminder, prescription reminders, among other services. Councilwoman Conwell just asked how people sign up and stay involved. Jones replied that, unlike automated text messages from hospitals, text messages are actually replied to and returned-depending on the need. This provides real-time support for the youth are in need and facing barriers that could inhibit them from living their best lives. The contract was passed to the full council for consideration for second reading, which is a standard for allocations under the American Rescue Plan.

Program expansion East Cleveland Domestic Violence Program

Next was Ms. Deborah Black, who runs the East Cleveland Domestic Violence Program. Her program would receive $47,280.43 from the District 10 ARPA dollars. The program has a staff of 3 individuals and was primarily funded by Victims of Ohio Crime Act (VOCA) funding. Councilwoman Conwell noted that, for the size of the county that Cuyahoga County is, that is inadequate to have only 45 beds dedicated to the support of individuals who are victims of domestic violence. The contract was passed to the full council for consideration for second reading, which is a standard for allocations under the American Rescue Plan.

Food security and transportation Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging

The final two contracts were not ARPA-related. The first contract was a contract with the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging for $2,103,000. Presented by Myron Bennett, Measurement & Quality Initiatives Manager, Performance for WRAAA, the contract would support three WRAA programs: the Great Grocery Giveaway, Going Places, and Nails It. The Great Grocery Giveaway is a program meant to combat food insecurity. Going Places would allow older adults to use senior transportation to get to grocery stores and medical appointments. The funds would be used specifically to purchase two new vans for Senior Transportation Connection, which would provide the services. Finally, Nails It, will work with community development corporation’s (CDC’s) to allow for older adults to make home repairs and modification to allow them to age in place. This included handrails, grab bars, ramps, among others. The contract was passed to the full council under second reading suspension.

Master contract for furniture Cuyahoga County Department of Health and Human Services

The next contract was a Master Contract for $1,575,000 for emergency furniture, food, appliances, and clothing. Community Solutions has written about this contract previously. Speaking on behalf of the county was David Merriman, Director for the Cuyahoga County Department of Health and Human Services, as well as Marcos Cortes, Contracts Administrator for county HHS. This is an amendment to an existing master contract, which would extend the contract for another year. The agreement with Aldi’s to families who are involved in the Department of Children and Family Services, or are at risk of becoming involved at DCFS.

  1. A-Z Furniture Co., Inc. in the amount not-to-exceed $315,000.00.
  2. Burlington Stores, Inc. in the amount not-to-exceed $420,000.00.
  3. Dave’s Supermarket, Inc. in the amount not-to-exceed $125,000.00.
  4. Penney OpCo LLC, dba JC Penney in the amount not-to-exceed $330,000.00.
  5. West 25th Furnishings and Appliances, Inc. in the amount not-to-exceed $385,000.00

The final contract was an additional allocation to the master contract with Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.), in the amount of $819,123.00, for the youth summer jobs program.

Youth summer programs Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.)

The final contract was an additional allocation to the master contract with Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.), in the amount of $819,123.00, for the youth summer jobs program. This program matches youth 14-17, as well as young adults 18-24 with a minor living in the home, to paid employment opportunities. The additional dollars come from federal dollars through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).