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Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Grand Prairie — The Grand Prairie City Council approved the allocation of $100,000 from the city budget to assist organizations in the community helping others.

Five organizations will be receiving portions of the $100,000. Lifeline for Families, Brighter Tomorrows and Children First Counseling Center are each receiving $20,000. Grand Prairie United Charities (GPUC) is receiving $30,000 and Grand Prairie Homeless Outreach Organization is receiving $10,000.

“It is something that gives some assistance to those in need,” Ron Jensen, Grand Prairie mayor, said. “This is coming out of our funds, and even though we have an extremely tight budget, we felt it is very important.

“Cities can’t make it without charitable organizations. We wanted to be local, and we wanted to touch on a number of issues: homelessness, rental assistance, domestic violence, counseling. These charities hit one, two or even three of those things we wanted to help.”

“Some of these people have just run into a bump in the road,” councilwoman Jorja Clemson, past president and current board member of Lifeline for Families, said. “It’s so important, not only for Lifeline, but to the other agencies that received the funding, because they are the primary source for those most in need.”

Colleen Jamieson, CEO of Brighter Tomorrows, said the funding will go toward new expenditures.

“It’s helping us purchase additional cleaning supplies, extra food we need that we used to get from donations,” Jamieson said. “With everybody staying home we’re not getting the donations that we used to be able to get on a weekly basis.

“We’ve had to add more Wi-Fi to the shelters that we didn’t have before. We’ve had to pay for additional platforms like Zoom and things like that for teletherapy. Even the platform for online and text donations we’ve had to buy.

“We’ve had to close our two stores down and push out our events. The income from our stores is about $20,000 a month. Our events, about $200,000. We’re scrambling to ask for as many donations as possible to get through the rest of the year.”

“We’ve been inundated with people who need financial help with rent,” Patti Brock, executive director of GPUC, said. “A lot of our partners really stepped up and went above and beyond funding us so that we could help for the rent. This funding will enable us to help through this wave as people are kind of getting back to work.”

GPUC has also received other types of help from the city.

“Because of the city and the great relationship we have them, and with several facilities that are closed like rec centers, libraries and swimming pools, they were able to loan their employees to us to run our food bank through this process,” Brock said. “In addition to what the city’s done for us, the outpouring from our community to support each other through a difficult time has really been phenomenal. It’s great that our community is pulling together. We’ll come out the other side better.”

During the council meeting, Steve Dye, deputy city manager, said cities with populations over 500,000 received funding through the CARES Act, so those cities are able to provide more services. Dye did say the city’s assistance is an ongoing process and is not limited to 501c3 organizations. The requirements needed to be considered for funding are that the money is directly helping Grand Prairie residents and serves in certain areas.