CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Kanawha County has already spent $5 million of the $17 million it received for its first half of American Rescue Plan funds.
The money will go towards everything from flu shots, mental health, to helping teams get uniforms and more meals for seniors.
Known for its medical services for low-income and uninsured Charleston residents, West Virginia Health Right now has a new hire charged with expanding its mental health services.
“My role and my goal is to be able to meet the needs of the community where we’re at,” said Dr. Britni Ross.
Ross is the center’s first doctor-level psychologist, and she’ll be providing mental health screenings at the new West Side clinic and also taking a “boots on the ground” approach meeting people in Montgomery, Marmet, and St Albans.
“We’ve seen a lot more people who were doing well and were able to cope, and then you take away church or organized activity or things we maybe used to cope prior, and a lot of people lost their jobs and access to resources and so people are struggling right now mentally and emotionally,” she said.
Her position was made possible thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Kanawha County Commission awarded Thursday.
Other big recipients of ARP funds are the Kanawha Valley Senior Services Center, which received $236,000 to provide hot meals to an additional 300 seniors.
$100, 000 was also awarded to the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department to help with flu vaccinations this season.
“Part of the money that we were awarded from the federal government we were able to use to make up for lost revenue to make sure that we were able to have continuity of government,” said Kanawha County commissioner Ben Salango.
On Thursday, teams like the University of Charleston women’s soccer team and the Capital High marching band also received checks for having more than 90% of their team vaccinated.
It’s part of the Kanawha TEAM Vaccinate Program Salango says they’ve reserved $1.5 million for.
Kanawha State Parks and local businesses that have suffered loss also received money.
ARP funds are awarded on a rolling basis.
The application can be found here.