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American Rescue Plan Act: Social Connection

Grants to improve social connection

The following grant programs are intended to help fight loneliness and make communities more livable for older adults and people with disabilities. 

Social Isolation and Loneliness grant

This grant has been awarded to various public and private organizations to create new ways to help people feel more connected and less isolated. These efforts aim to improve services at home and in the community so that older adults don't have to move into long-term care facilities too soon. Learn more about social isolation and loneliness:

Livable Communities grant

This grant has been awarded and will support solutions for people to connect, get around, or stay engaged with greater ease. The goal is to improve places where older people live so they can be independent and be involved in their communities longer, avoiding the need for expensive care or moving away from home. Learn more about livable communities:

Grant public notice

Social Isolation and Loneliness grant: View the public notice

Livable Communities grant: View the public notice

Applicants 

Thank you to all who applied and were engaged in exploring the social isolation and loneliness and/or livable communities grant. 

We received 89 total applications. 61 applicants for the Social Isolation and Loneliness grant and 28 for the Livable Communities grant. 

Frequently asked questions

Yes, there were two separate grant applications awarded:

  • Social Isolation and Loneliness grant
  • Livable Communities grant

Note: Both grant applications have closed and grant recipients have been identified. See above for the full list of grant recipients.

There was a $100,000 cap for each grant application awarded.

DHS will reimburse actual expenses using a system called GEARS.

No. The funding must be used for coalition building or enhancement and for a project that is intended to improve Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) either directly or by delay or diversion. Projects may serve other populations in addition to serving Medicaid HCBS.

Yes. Any capital expense (over $5,000 lasting longer than a year) must be relevant to Medicaid HCBS.

Yes. Eligible applicants included public and private organizations that demonstrated capacity to engage community partners. 

The application process has closed and recipients have been identified.

Coalition work is the foundation of these grants. A coalition is a group of people who have joined together for a common purpose. The expectation is that there is some level of organization and coordination among members. The request for applications (RFA) states, at a minimum, grant recipients will be expected to:

  • Develop or enhance a local coalition of partners to address issues associated with social isolation and loneliness among older adults and people with disabilities in the service area.
  • Involve a range of partners who reflect the diversity of the community served.
  • Identify the community service area's unmet needs and current capacity to respond to those needs.
  • Gather data elements, report on outcomes, and share experiences and lessons learned with DHS, other coalitions, and interested groups.
  • Plan for the sustainability of coalition efforts after the grant ends.

Applications were scored by an evaluation committee and ranked according to the numerical scores received. Applicants who sought funds for a coalition only were eligible for a total of 75 points. Those who were asking for funding for a community project were eligible for a total of 100 points. All applications have been ranked based on a percentage of points achieved. For example, 65 out of 75 points equates to a ranking percentage of 87%. Eligible points per section were identified in the application. These were the points awarded for each section:

  • Cover Letter—0 points
  • Project Description (Coalition Work)—maximum 20-45 points
  • Community Project (Optional)—25 points
  • Sustainability—maximum 10 points
  • Community Partners—maximum 15 points
  • Project Workplan—maximum 15 points
  • Budget and Budget Narrative—maximum 15 points
Last revised May 20, 2024