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Peachtree Corners Awards ARPA Funds to 11 Nonprofits, Here’s Who’s Received It



Although the COVID-19 pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on all aspects of life, perhaps one area that is feeling the sting especially hard is nonprofits. The need for their services has doubled, or even tripled in some cases, but donations, government funding and volunteers have diminished exponentially. That’s why the signing of the federal American Rescue Plan Act on March 11, 2021 brought new hope to many whose mission is to bring hope to others. (What is ARPA?)

With its share of the $1.9 trillion allotment, the city of Peachtree Corners diligently set about devising a fair and equitable way to distribute the funds.

“We have the ability to use some funds internally, not just for nonprofits,” said Louis Svehla, spokesman for the city. “We’re also using the funds to help businesses and individuals directly.”

Although Peachtree Corners is no stranger to providing support for worthwhile causes, the $16,395,722 it received (half in July 2021 and the remainder sometime this year) and guidelines for disbursement were a lot for the city government to handle. It eventually split the funds into four piles:

  • The Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund is to assist Peachtree Corners residents who have been severely impacted by COVID-19. The funds are to be awarded to qualifying nonprofits that will distribute them to individuals.
  • The Nonprofit Operating Fund is to assist qualified nonprofits that have been especially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with funding for operating costs.
  • The Business Assistance Fund is to assist small businesses within the Peachtree Corners city limits that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • The Capital Project Fund is to assist businesses and nonprofit organizations in modifying their facilities to address COVID-19 prevention measures such as upgrading ventilation systems, enabling social distancing, etc. or improving the exterior areas of their business.

The Nonprofit Operating Fund was allotted over $1.5 million with 11 organizations receiving funding.

“We hired a consultant to help with the process,” said Svehla. The city used Alabama-based Azimuth Grants, a grant consulting firm with offices in Atlanta. A women-owned business established in 2010, Azimuth helped the city develop an application and a rubric to ensure that the process put money in the hands of the most-deserving organizations.

“It was very in-depth,” said Svehla. “It took two months to score the applications and review the narratives.”

Doling Out the Dollars

The 40-page document seemingly left no stone unturned to vet the 100-plus organizations that applied. Although the total amount awarded seems huge, the need is greater. And not all the nonprofits have their operations inside the Peachtree Corners city limits. What was important was that they provide services to city residents.

The awards to local nonprofits were handed out last month. One of the first to receive a big check was the Robert D. Fowler YMCA with $500,000. On Friday, January 28, Mayor Mike Mason and Councilmembers Eric Christ and Alex Wright presented it during the YMCA’s 25 Year Anniversary Celebration.

Although the Y received the lion’s share of the pot, its need is by no means annihilated.

“We are so thankful, and just so blessed to have received the money that we did,” said Katie Furlough, executive director of Robert D. Fowler Family YMCA.

She went on to explain that plans for the money are twofold. “Some is going to go to facility improvements that were deferred because of the cost of improvements during COVID. … Like everyone else, we had to shift some things around when COVID happened, so that we could really serve the community in ways that it needed at that time. … There were some projects that we moved to future plan so that we could use those resources in different ways.”

Now that it appears the pandemic is headed in the other direction, or at least stabilizing, the Y will replace and repair the whirlpool and get it up and running. As for the rest of the funds, Furlough said the leadership wants to get feedback from the community.

“What can we do to better impact the community and serve Peachtree Corners? And the people in need, really with a focus on physical activity?” she said.

The list of possibilities includes extending the backpack program where kids go home with food to tide them and their family over during the weekend. Many students rely on a free breakfast and lunch, and Saturdays and Sundays can become hungry days. By the same token, the Y is also considering expanding the summer lunch program as well.

“We also, in 2021, served 50 kids with safety around water,” said Furlough. “Drowning is the second leading cause of death for kids under 12.”

The grant could also provide scholarships to kids in the camp program, sports programs, and/or after school programs. “Providing opportunities for kids to build connections and build friends, to have a sense of belonging and a sense of achievement, and to create strong relationships with peers and adults is an important part of what we do. And some kids aren’t able to do that, or some families aren’t able to do that on their own,” she said.

And of course, funds could also go toward activities for seniors. “We’re trying to really create a space for seniors to feel like they belong and have a sense of community because we know that when seniors experience things like loss of a partner, or just changes that happen, that can be lonely, and that loneliness really creates a lot of health concerns for people.”

So even though the huge award from the city is a blessing, the need is ever-present.

Smaller Awards Still Make Big Impacts

The same holds true for other area nonprofits.

Although Rainbow Village and the Norcross High School Foundation received the smallest amounts of the ARPA funds, both have big plans for stretching the dollars.

Pictured are Eric Christ (District 2 – PTC City Council), Amanda Credendino (Co-President NHS Foundation for Excellence), Will Bishop (Principal – Norcross High School), Tiffany Ellner (Co-President NHS Foundation for Excellence), Phil Sadd (District 1 – PTC City Council)

The NHS Foundation for Excellence was awarded $30,000 from the City of Peachtree Corners which it will use to better support NHS students and families.

“The Foundation is grateful for the support of the City of Peachtree Corners to help further our mission of positively impacting all students by cultivating excellence in academics, arts, and athletics,” said organizers in a statement.

Its mission is accomplished in part with a tutoring and mentoring program for at-risk 9th and 10th grade students that meets after school.

Similarly, Rainbow Village, is grateful for the award. “Every dollar counts for us. My staff and I say that all the time,” said Rev. Melanie Conner, director. “So, whether it’s a small or large gift, it’s always greatly appreciated.”

It offers a different kind of community support. “Primarily we provide help, hope, healing and housing for families that are experiencing homelessness,” she said. “On our campus, we actually have 30 apartments where the families can live …  for up to two years. And we provide all of the supportive services that a family would need to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient.”

Unlike day shelters that may give a bed for the night, meals, clothing and showers, Rainbow Village works with families exclusively — in any composition — to break the cycle of homelessness.

“We have a grandfather raising his granddaughters, we had a grandmother raising her grandchildren, but the majority of our families are single moms,” said Conner. “There’s nothing wrong with day shelters, they certainly have their place and serve a need. We just take a different approach.”

Rainbow Village assigns success coaches (a name change from case managers) to meet with families regularly to review their finances and to ensure that they are still employed in a job that’s paying a livable wage. The coaches also help with mental health services and legal services if the clients have any issues with those. And of course, there is childcare, tutoring for kids and life skills training.

“So really we help with every aspect of their lives, especially because they live with us,” said Conner. “They’re here in our village.”

The program has a high success rate, too. Conner keeps up with “graduates” and her stats show that in the organization’s 30 years, as much as 92% of those who leave after the two years manage to stay afloat with a job and a roof over their heads.

It wasn’t hard for Conner to find a use for the grant. The funds will support the children in its academy, a program that provides academic enrichment, social skill development, and a safe haven for children from elementary to high school age. At Rainbow Village, all the children of participants in the residential program must participate in an afterschool program of some kind. Those who do not already have an afterschool plan are enrolled in the Rainbow Village Academy.

“With the onset of the pandemic, we found that we needed additional staffing to support the children,” said Conner. “At any time, we can have anywhere from 50 to 100 kids, depending on the makeup of the families that we’re serving. So that’s a lot of kids for one person to be responsible for.”

There are volunteers, but Conner feels strongly that a staffer needs to lead the charge for ensuring the children’s favorable outcomes in the school year and over the summer. “A lot of times people don’t like [to use donations] to support staffing, but I always say that without the staff, the programs don’t operate,” said Conner.

The city of Peachtree Corners will be making announcements soon about plans for more of the ARPA funds. Check back with Peachtree Corners Magazine for updates.

Peachtree Corners ARPA Distribution to Nonprofits

Organization NameAmount
Peachtree Corners Baptist Church$175,000
Norcross Youth Baseball Softball Association  (Capital Funding)$105,000
Robert D. Fowler Family YMCA$500,000
Annandale at Suwanee, Inc.$200,000
Norcross High School Foundation for Excellence$30,000
Revved Up Kids$110,000
Neighborhood Cooperative Ministries$80,000
Norcross Youth Baseball Softball Association  (Capital Funding)$16,000
Rainbow Village, Inc.$30,000
Corners Outreach$150,000

Arlinda Smith Broady is part of the Boomerang Generation of Blacks that moved back to the South after their ancestors moved North. With approximately three decades of journalism experience (she doesn't look it), she's worked in tiny, minority-based newsrooms to major metropolitans. At every endeavor she brings professionalism, passion, pluck, and the desire to spread the news to the people.

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City Government

Peachtree Corners Receives Sixth Straight Distinguished Budget Presentation Award



Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

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City Government

Temporary Closures of Portions of the Town Center Parking Deck Through Summer



Peachtree Corners Town Center

Beginning March 21, 2023, portions of the parking deck located in the Peachtree Corners Town Center will be closed to perform maintenance, repairs and area improvements.

These closures will affect the entrances immediately in front of Lazy Dog Restaurant, the entrance entering the lower deck closest to the CineBistro parking lot, and the southern ramp section in the area of the electric vehicle charging stations. 

Peachtree Corners Town Center

During the closures, from March 21 to March 23, all entry into the deck must be done through the lower deck entrances across from CineBistro.  The entrance nearest the traffic circle fountain will be temporarily closed to facilitate materials delivery for the project.

Peachtree Corners Town Center

Following delivery, this entrance will be reopened for the duration of the project.  Additionally, the ramp providing access to the upper level of the deck will remain open throughout the project.

During this time, the vehicle charging stations will also be inaccessible.

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City Government

Peachtree Corners City Council Recognizes GCPD Officers



During the Council Meeting on February 28, the City of Peachtree Corners recognized three Gwinnett County Police Department Officers — Officers Dillon Burk, Aleksandar Panayotov and Amber Brown — for their actions last November.

The three officers worked quickly to stop alleged suspects involved in victimizing Peachtree Corners businesses.

City Manager Brian Johnson issued the following Proclamation:

A Declaration of The City of Peachtree Corners, Georgia Recognizing Officers Dillon Burk, Aleksandar Panayotov, and Amber Brown

WHEREAS, On Nov. 8, 2022 West Precinct officers were dispatched to a burglary at the SS Food Mart and Vape. A video was obtained showing four suspects smashing the front door.

WHEREAS, Detectives were contacted by Officer Burk, who recognized one of the suspects in the video as a juvenile he had previously been arrested on a shoplifting call alongside an adult.

WHEREAS, On November 12, Officer Burk and Officer Panayotov performed a traffic stop on a car with plates that did not match the vehicle. The driver was the adult female previously arrested for shoplifting with the juvenile. There was a book bag in the car that the officers recalled seeing in the burglary video. The female was taken to headquarters and interviewed by Officer Burk and Officer Brown. During the interview, the suspect disclosed her involvement in the burglary, as well as the location of the stolen goods, which were at the juvenile’s home.

WHEREAS, A search warrant was obtained and stolen items were found. The female suspect was charged with burglary and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT DECLARED by the Mayor and Council of the City of Peachtree Corners that these officers be recognized for their good police work, for without it, the suspects would have likely continued victimizing businesses in Peachtree Corners.

SO DECLARED on this the day of 28th day of February 2023.

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