In previous editions of Monroe This Week I have shared about how the City of Monroe has been using the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to support the needs in our community. Take the Next Step (TTNS) is Monroe’s nonprofit Family Resource Center. They are well known for offering friendship, help, and hope to our neighbors in need.
Throughout the pandemic, TTNS served a crucial role in responding to Monroe residents in crisis and those in marginalized communities. TTNS helped facilitate a series of meetings with our Hispanic neighbors in a place where they were comfortable; St. Mary’s of the Valley. City Staff and I also attended these meetings. We were able to hear about the needs of those in our Spanish-speaking community. Some of the needs discussed were accessing mental health services, sports and activities for their children, and support in starting their own small businesses. TTNS took this information and applied for ARP funds from the City of Monroe and worked with a series of partners to meet each of these needs.
For help starting small businesses, TTNS reached out to a Seattle-based nonprofit partner called “Ventures” who does exactly that. The Ventures Business Program worked with TTNS to host and facilitate a series of classes in Spanish, in which participants learned the ins and out of beginning and maintaining their own successful and sustainable small businesses. This program has produced 8 successful graduates. Program graduates also have the opportunity to apply for startup capital from the ARP funds, to help get their restaurants, catering company, jewelry brands, or consulting service started. I continue to be encouraged by how ARP funds are serving to better opportunities for Monroe residents in need. Thank you TTNS for applying for, and administering these funds.