On May 21, 2021 One Voice Central Texas shared with Travis County and the City of Austin the following recommendations for the funding that will be received under the American Rescue Plan (ARP):
One Voice Recommendations for American Rescue Plan Funding
One Voice Central Texas is a coalition of the executive leadership of 105 nonprofit health and human service organizations committed to making sure that everyone can reach their full potential and contribute to our community.
Our membership is diverse and includes organizations of all sizes, so we bring a variety of experiences to the table. The pandemic has highlighted the deep economic and racial divide in our community.
As Travis County and the City of Austin identifies how to distribute the Federal American Rescue Plan funding, One Voice recommends the following:
• Focus on: Affordability and Basic Needs; Health, Behavioral Health and Safety; Homelessness; Family, Child and Youth Services, and Workforce Development
• We encourage Travis County and the City of Austin to:
• Ensure there are no breaks in current services
• Recommend quick release of funds to increase existing contract investments where outcomes have been demonstrated
• Review plans that engaged the community and scale investments to recommended solutions
• Engage people with lived experience and non-traditional stakeholders to update plans
• Ensure efforts will continue to build equity and address poverty
• Identify projects that will meet immediate community needs, build infrastructure, for the future or surge funding to an area that can address a specific problem
• Begin planning now, together and with other community partners, to develop a plan for sustained increased capacity for health and human services for 2024 when this federal funding will end
• Make sure that you work together, and your responses are complementary and aligned
• Conduct public input through existing community/collaborative groups as well as community forums: One Voice welcomes being a forum for community input.
We further encourage County Commissioners to use Travis County research and planning and other County staff to assist in identification of issues and solutions.
One Voice stands ready to be a partner with the County as this critical funding is expended.