WARREN - Programs working with youth and the poor will receive the bulk of the money that can be allocated to nonprofit organizations from the city's share of 2013's Community Development Block Grants.
Council on Wednesday is expected to approve $1 million worth of CDBG funds that will be available in 2013. About 85 percent of the grants must be used for programs operated or led by the city.
"The remaining 15 percent is divided among nonprofit organizations that ask for financial help," Community Development Director Michael Keys said.
The largest portion of the CDBG grant - about $730,000 - is going to programs operated by Warren, including targeted area road projects, program administration and parks, as well as community development and economic development professional services.
Other city projects receiving money will be for sidewalk improvements and tree cutting in low-income target areas in the city.
Because of the city's size, Warren receives its own CDBG allocation funds from Housing and Urban Development. Other area communities also are eligible to receive some of the federal community block grant funds, but they have to apply through the county.
Target Area Road Project, $300,000
Program Administration, $200,000
Community Development & Economic Development Professional Services, $150,000
Property Maintenance Code Division, $45,000
Inspiring Minds Summer Enrichment, $42,000
A group of volunteers, representing City Council and the administration, review all the applications of people asking for funds and then determines how much, if anything, each project will receive.
Inspiring Mind's Summer Enrichment program is scheduled to receive $42,000 to provide a combination of academics, art and physical activity over the summer.
"This is something we want to expand in our second year,'' said Deryck Toles, executive director of Inspiring Minds. "We had about 160 students last summer and want to expand to about 200 students next summer.''
The enrichment program provides Warren school children - third through eighth grades - a place to continue their academics, arts and physical activities during the summer months.
"Studies have shown that students lose about two months of what they learned in school over the summer," Toles said. "Our goal is to work with the school district to limit that loss.''
The program has classes in each to Warren School District's K-8 schools, as well as in Warren G. Harding High School. In addition to academics and sports, the enrichment program provided nourishment and adult supervision to eligible students for four hours a day.
In its first year, the program received $12,000 from CDBG out of the $176,000 it took to operate.
"What we learned last summer is a lot of city residents do not have transportation, so even if there are programs available, the majority of these kids have no way to get to them," Toles said.
Warren Philharmonic Orchestra is expected to receive about $11,400 in CDBG money to help pay for the annual Children's Orchestra concert.
"We applied for the grant for several years in a row and the CDBG committee has been very good to us," Barry Dunaway, executive director of the Warren Philharmonic orchestra, said.
"We present a full concert to the Warren students. Our director flies in from Boston to lead the orchestra and we have what we call a petting zoo that allows students to touch string instruments.
"Often, this is the first orchestral concert that many of these students will ever see," Dunaway said.
The cost of putting together the concert is about $45,000.
"Without this contribution, I do not believe we would be able to do this," he said.