Metropolitan County Leaders Invest American Rescue Plan Resources in Pandemic Response, Mental Health, Homelessness

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WASHINGTON — Elected leaders from major urban counties with over 4.2 million residents this week outlined how they are deploying resources from the American Rescue Plan to respond to urgent community needs.

Leaders of the National Association of Counties (NACo) Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) hosted a Capitol Hill briefing to describe how they are investing in pandemic recovery, including efforts to address the nation’s growing mental health and homelessness crises.

“Counties are leading our nation’s recovery through strategic investments of American Rescue Plan resources. The investments being made today in Franklin County, Ohio and other large urban counties are laying the groundwork for long-term solutions to critical issues facing our communities today such as homelessness, housing affordability and mental illness,” said LUCC Chair John O’Grady, a Franklin County, Ohio commissioner. “However, it is the partnership between counties and the federal government, states and cities that drives our government system and enables the most effective responses.”

The American Rescue Plan provided direct, flexible funding to counties to help mitigate new and existing challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The homelessness and mental health crises have become intersecting epidemics within the broader pandemic, and county leaders are taking decisive action to address these pressing needs.

This briefing highlighted innovative ways urban county leaders are leveraging American Rescue Plan funding to save lives, strengthen communities and restore livelihoods.

In addition to O’Grady, several county leaders participated in the briefing, including:

  • Hon. Angela Conley, LUCC vice chair; commissioner, Hennepin County, Minn.
  • Hon. Johnny Olszewski, LUCC vice chair; county executive, Baltimore County, Md.
  • Hon. Mark Poloncarz, NACo Northeast region representative; LUCC member; county executive, Erie County, N.Y.

To access a recording of the briefing, click here.