Westmoreland Co. Commission designates $3 million to mental health, homelessness services

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. — More than a dozen nonprofit agencies and organizations are about to get a boost that Westmoreland County officials said could make a significant impact for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. About $3 million of American Rescue Plan money has been dedicated to the people of Westmoreland County in the form of a social services grant.

“We had 12,000 residents in Lower Burrell with a median income under ($55,000). These people are living in poverty, and then they lose their jobs, they don’t have income to do anything. I could see stress, anxiety, depression…” said Rob Hamilton, director of human services for Westmoreland County. “We take it as our responsibility to address everything they need to live a healthy, productive life.”

The grant is intended for mental health support and prevention, including crisis support and mobile response, as well as programs for the homeless, including both emergency shelter and affordable housing.

“The need for transportation, the need for affordable housing, the ability to serve youth and families of the youth who might be dealing with difficulties,” Hamilton said.

Applications are available on the Community Foundation’s website and will be accepted until May 12. The next steps: working with community members to see exactly what needs to be met and encouraging nonprofit agencies to attend informational sessions and apply.

“Then sometime in July, hopefully at our Human Service Fair on July 13 at Westmoreland Community College, we will announce the winners and present them with their awards,” Hamilton said.

Agencies will have until the end of 2024 to spend the money.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW