The Center for Rural Development awards $1,954 ARC mini-grant to AppalReD Legal Aid for a strategic planning project

Published 3:48 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The Center for Rural Development has awarded a $1,954 mini-grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to AppalReD Legal Aid, a nonprofit organization, to lay the groundwork for a strategic planning project.
AppalReD Legal Aid plans to hire a consultant to create and develop a strategic plan that will identify underserved populations and their most pressing legal needs within its multi-county service region.
The private, nonprofit law firm offers free civil legal help to eligible low-income people and is the only provider of civil legal aid services across 37 Appalachian counties in Eastern and South-Central Kentucky.
The AppalReD staff and board members will collaborate with the consultant to create goals and objectives to meet the needs of rural Kentucky, improve economic development, and help reduce poverty in the region.
“This grant funding is a vital step toward moving forward with projects that will change the lives of people in Southern and Eastern Kentucky,” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development. “We are making a difference throughout our communities and investing in the economic development of our region.”
The AppalReD project was funded through The Center’s Developing and Implementing Community Strategies Program in partnership with the Department for Local Government and ARC.
ARC distressed counties located within the AppalReD’s service area include: Bell, Breathitt, Casey, Clay, Clinton, Estill, Floyd, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Rockcastle, Wayne, Whitley, and Wolfe counties.
During this ARC funding cycle, The Center awarded $105,934 in federal grant funds to 13 projects in more than 15 Kentucky communities for capacity building planning and implementation projects.
Other projects to receive ARC mini-grants were City of Corbin Parks and Recreation Department, $10,000: City of Hazard Department of Downtown Development, $10,000; City of Liberty, $8,000; Clay County Fiscal Court, $10,000; Gateway Area Development District, $10,000; Hwy 7 Community Outreach, Western Letcher County Tourism and Cultural Initiative, $7,500; Jackson County Development Association, $7,500; Jackson County Fiscal Court, $10,000; Lawrence County Health Department, $4,500; Leadership Tri-County, $6,480; Rowan County Fiscal Court, $10,000; and Tri-City Chamber of Commerce,$10,000.
The mini-grant program (sometimes referred to as the Flex-E-Grant program) is open to qualified local units of government and non-profit entities in 35 ARC-designated economically distressed counties.
Grants are subject to approval for up to $10,000, require a 20 percent match of the total project costs, and are to be completed within a six-month timeframe. Mini-grant funds are available on a reimbursement basis only.
Since 2005, The Center’s Developing and Implementing Community Strategies Program has presented more than $1.1 million in ARC funding support to distressed communities across Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

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