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Wisconsinites will see $50 million in COVID-19 support

An additional $47 million investment in COVID-19 support for childcare, healthcare navigators, and energy and rental assistance to Wisconsinites across the state, is now available. The effort is funded through the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), and will be infused into existing CRF-funded programs and used for new programs, as the pandemic continues to affect Wisconsinites.

Through the funding, $10 million will be directed toward the COVID-19 Out-of-School Support Grant Program, aimed at assisting Wisconsin organizations who are providing care to school-aged kids during the pandemic. Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), the program provides eligible organizations grant awards to cover pandemic-related impacts, such as lost revenue, increased staffing costs, cleaning and sanitization, and additional costs to ensure high-quality programming otherwise impacted by COVID-19.

“Our out-of-school support providers are a critical part of the team of entities ensuring Wisconsin kids are getting what they need, whether their traditional school setting is in-person or virtual this year,” said Evers. “What’s best for our kids, is what’s best for our state, and these organizations are stepping up in a big way, to make sure our kids have a safe place to go during this unprecedented pandemic.”

With winter on the horizon and as temperatures drop, making sure Wisconsinites have access to safe, warm housing is critical. Therefore, $10 million will be invested in the successful Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program (WRAP), in addition to the $25 million previously announced.

Additionally, $10 million will go toward the Food Security Initiative, in recognition of the role the program has played in combatting hunger. This investment is on top of the $15 million previously allocated to this program.

To ensure Wisconsinites not only have access to housing but can pay their utility bills as the state heads into the winter months, $15 million of the funds will be invested in Wisconsin’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a program that is currently federally-funded and helps Wisconsinites with their heating costs.

Finally, ensuring everyone has access to quality, affordable healthcare continues to be a top priority, especially as COVID- 19 surges across the state. Given the increasing number of Wisconsinites facing unemployment, and the loss of employer- sponsored health insurance during the pandemic, $1 million will be invested in the statewide health insurance navigator organization, to help residents purchase health insurance on the federal marketplace or to enroll in BadgerCare.