NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The New Orleans City Council approved a new set of budgets with $53.6 million in unallocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

City officials said the funds will be used toward violence reduction and human services. They will serve to aid in meeting community needs by strengthening a local social safety net.

City officials provided the following breakdown of the funds:

  • Youth Trauma and Mental Health Support: an investment of $10 million was made to address the pressing issue of youth trauma and mental health in schools.
  • Workforce Development Initiatives: with a dedicated allocation of $11 million, these initiatives will empower individuals with skills training, job placement assistance and career advancement opportunities, ultimately enhancing employment prospects for the community.
  • Affordable Housing Gap Financing: the city will provide $8 million in gap financing support for affordable housing projects.
  • Subsidized RTA Transit Fares: $5 million allocated to alleviate financial burdens and improve mobility options for residents, connecting them to essential services, employment opportunities and recreational activities.
  • Financial Stability/Asset Building Program: with an investment of $5 million, this program will provide essential resources, education and support to empower individuals and families to achieve long-term economic security.
  • Pocket Parks Program: $2.5 million was allocated to establish a pocket parks program to transform blighted and vacant properties into green spaces that will serve the community.
  • Food Security Program: $1 million was allocated to implement a comprehensive food security program to ensure that all residents have access to an adequate and affordable food supply.
  • Community Violence Intervention and Prevention: an additional $500,000 was allocated to the Mayor’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention to partner with a community-based organization and develop a street outreach/community violence interruption program.

Previously, ARPA funded $47 million in projects throughout the city.  

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