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Columbia city council addresses ARPA fund survey results


Columbia city council met Monday night to discuss its American Rescue Plan Act survey results.

The city and health department composed and sent out a survey to the community to see what areas they would like to see the second half of the funds on.

Officials say 4,470 people completed the ARPA survey.

According to the survey, people want to see the funds spent on health services including mental health, affordable housing, premium worker pay, funding for homeless residents and household assistance.

Some groups of people answered the survey more than others, and the health department said that is something they hope to work on. They hope that with their next step of creating focus groups, they will be able to reach even more people.

White people responded most to the survey at 78.3 percent, with black people responding at 9.26 percent, and asian people at 1.8.

Females answered the survey more and the top age group was 35-44.

The city said Monday night, they would like a focus group for people with kids, and those making premium pay. The health department said it will likely create a focus group for Spanish-speaking people.

The city has $12.6 million left of the $25.2 million to address inequalities and areas of need exposed by the pandemic. The goal is for the survey to reach as many people as possible so they can really narrow down what areas of need are most important to fund.

The first half of the money is being used for homelessness, community violence, mental health services and workforce development. 

The next step is for the health department and city to identify gaps in the survey data and then next create focus groups. Those groups will head into the community and find the specific areas needing funding.

All people that completed the survey said that mental health was the biggest challenge when recovering from the pandemic.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia City Government

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.


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