The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) today announced that it has awarded more than $13 million in federal and state grant funds to organizations in metro Atlanta that provide services to older people, individuals with disabilities, and their caregivers.
The services will help people remain independent and lead healthier lives in their homes and communities, avoiding costly institutional settings— adhering to the goals set forth by the state for all Area Agencies on Aging. These funding awards are part of ARC’s submission process of the FY21-24 Area Plan on Aging to the state.
The awards were distributed for the fiscal year 2021 to 10 local governments and four regional specialty agencies. All recipients received these funds after submitting plans that demonstrated both innovative and proven approaches to meeting residents’ needs.
The specialty agencies, along with ARC as the federally designated Area Agency on Aging, bring value by providing services across county borders in areas marked by acute need. This year’s grants fund the following:
Information and referral translated and adapted for different cultures
Home-delivered and congregate meals
Support for older persons caring for younger generations (known as “kinship care”)
“We know people want to stay in their homes and communities as they age, but that can be a challenge for many without the critical support that these funds provide,” said Becky Kurtz, managing director of ARC’s Aging and Independence Services. “The funding also serves as a foundation for our local communities to build on and channel appropriately to help people to thrive and live more independently.”
ARC information and service referral for older individuals and those living with disabilities takes place via empowerline, which links people with trusted community services and healthcare providers to help them live their best lives. Last year, empowerline responded to 78,653 requests for assistance.
Helping Grandparents Care for Kids with Disabilities
Here’s a closer look at one of the four specialty organizations awarded funding: Innovative Solutions for Disadvantage & Disability (ISDD). ISDD received $70,000 to support its Project GRANDD program — Grandparents Raising and Nurturing Dependents with Disabilities.
Project GRANDD has a unique charge: it’s the only caregiver program in the state dedicated to supporting grandparents who are raising grandchildren experiencing chronic health conditions, developmental disabilities, and learning and behavioral disorders.
ARC funding helps support the work of case managers, who make home visits to address the wide spectrum of difficulties experienced by both grandparent-caregivers and the next generation for whom they care — from financial and health needs, to legal issues, to emotional and social concerns.
“There is so much at stake here,” said Rainie Jueschke, ISDD’s Executive Director. “The ability of a senior to maintain independent living is not just about the senior; it also includes the needs of a younger person who is dependent on that senior. So that’s two generations of impact.”
These families can be successful with the right supports, adds Jueschke, “which is why we have — and need — kinship programs like Project GRANDD.”
Innovative Solutions for Disadvantage & Disability
These amounts are based on the planning allocation provided to ARC by the state of Georgia. The final allocation to ARC (and amount of each award) is subject to change.
For information and referrals about services and supports for older adults and persons with disabilities in the 10-county Atlanta region, visit empowerline.org or call 404-463-3333.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 73 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.
ARC’s Strategic Partners are committed to fostering collaborative regional approaches that improve quality of life in metro Atlanta. Their support elevates ARC leadership programs, research and events throughout the year. Learn more