Senator Hall: Allocation of federal pandemic recovery funds for nonprofits

As co-chair of one of the bipartisan, bicameral working groups under the Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding, our job has been to help identify transformational projects and investments to move Oklahoma forward after the COVID-19 pandemic.  Much of our work was completed last year in special session as we addressed key infrastructure needs, workforce development, improvements in healthcare and projects to expand our citizens access to broadband, especially in rural communities, but we are continuing to finalize allocations this legislative session.

This past week, the Senate and House approved another important component in the allocation of federal pandemic recovery funds, providing resources to nonprofits throughout the state to better assist families facing food insecurity, domestic abuse and neglect, and other projects to help at-risk and vulnerable youth.

Among the projects contained in the bill is a grant for the YMCA to better address childcare needs and food insecurity in central Oklahoma.  The U.S. Chamber Foundation has confirmed accessible, affordable high-quality childcare and out-of-school time programs are critical in supporting parents getting back to work, which further supports our economic growth efforts.  Food insecurity throughout the state also increased during the pandemic.  One in six Oklahoma households is considered food insecure and one in five Oklahoma kids does not have access to enough food.

Another grant we approved is to the YWCA to help address the needs of at-risk youth in Oklahoma by providing transitional housing and support services for teens aging out of foster care. We’ve also provided grant funding to Oklahoma CASA aimed at child abuse prevention.  CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates.  CASA represent the best interests of abused and neglected children who are wards of the court.  This grant will increase the capacity of CASA programs across the state charged with providing advocacy to this vulnerable child population.  These resources will help increase the number of volunteer advocates available for court appointments in the state of Oklahoma and address other support needs within the program.

The legislation also allocates grant funding for Boys and Girls Clubs across Oklahoma to reach thousands of Oklahoma youth who were disproportionately impacted by COVID, helping them recover from academic, social, emotional, and behavioral setbacks from the pandemic.

Additional grants are authorized in the bill to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking and address other needs of at-risk populations.

I believe we have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of countless Oklahoma children, strengthening families and communities throughout our state.  I’m proud of the work we’ve done identifying and vetting these projects and hope the governor will join us in supporting this transformational legislation. 

Please feel free to contact my Capitol office with any questions or concerns you may have about legislation or other issues impacting our state at 405.521.5628 or at


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