Metro Council Board approves distribution of American Rescue funds

Metro Council Board approves distribution of American Rescue funds
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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — At the Metro Council meeting tonight, the approval of reallocating funds could help with homelessness and violence here in Baton Rouge.

The Metro Council Board approved more than $4 million of American Rescue funds for several initiatives.

Part of that money will go to getting families off the streets.

About one-fourth of that money can help relocate a family if they’ve had a child or spouse who’s been involved in a shooting. The goal is to stop retaliation and reduce crime rates.

“What we want to do is get them out of the environment where they were impacted, right. So that it doesn’t happen to another child or another person in their house,” said Dante Bidwell, Baton Rouge Chief Administrative Officer.

“There’s not really many shelter providers right now that take in families that have, say, teenage boys. Sometimes they can, like, age out of being able to get some of these housing services. So, we want to make sure that we’re providing services to all people experiencing homelessness, including parents and children,” said Bidwell.

Bidwell also says $200,000 will go towards assisting the district attorney’s office with the gun backlog.

Officials say the money has to be allocated by the end of 2024 and spent by 2026. Otherwise, the city will lose it to the federal government.

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