For more than two years, Multnomah County has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, working tirelessly to keep our community as safe, healthy and supported as possible. A key tool in our ability to continually meet the needs of our community has been the critical funding provided by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.
In the 2021-22 fiscal year, Multnomah County invested its first $78.8 million allocation of these one-time federal dollars in strategies that bolstered our ability to respond to and recover from this public health emergency, address the impacts of COVID-19, and help offset reductions in revenue where feasible. Our ARP investment decisions have been guided by the set of principles that the County has used throughout the pandemic to ensure that we remain responsive to the disproportionate harms experienced by communities of color and that our choices are grounded in our values.
With the first tranche of ARP funding, we invested in our efforts to build and maintain a rapid, robust and effective public health response. In order to help community members stabilize and recover, we prioritized wraparound support to individuals and families. We made investments that helped us keep people under the County’s direct care in congregate settings safe, while also making critical investments in County infrastructure that helped our workforce safely and successfully pivot to a new paradigm of work. And we used ARP funding to continue or restore critical County services that faced the potential of being impacted by local, state and federal budget cuts.
Multnomah County is committed to applying the lessons and insights we’ve gained in the last year to our approach for investing the second allocation of ARP funding in our FY 2023 budget. As our community begins to prepare for the next stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will create a strategic and sustainable transition away from our crisis response efforts, toward long-term, transformational recovery.