American Rescue Plan Act

On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law to provide federal funding to local governments for response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is in addition to the $121.5 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds that Lake County allocated in 2020 to support our residents, communities, taxing districts, businesses, and countywide services in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ARPA provided $135.2 million in direct local recovery assistance to Lake County Government. The funding that Lake County received is supporting projects and programs to improve lives, solve problems, and make our County more resilient to future challenges.

The Lake County Board has remained committed to both addressing immediate pandemic response needs and pursuing long-term equity-informed initiatives. Lake County’s focus has been to maximize strategic investments that benefit residents for years to come by funding improved outcomes rather than short-term fixes. Learn more by viewing Lake County's annual recovery plans:

Lake County 2021 Recovery Plan (PDF)

Lake County 2022 Recovery Plan (PDF)

Lake County 2023 Recovery Plan (PDF)

Funding Distribution

The Lake County Board established a Special Committee on COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery and Investments. This committee actively worked to assess and prioritize potential projects and programs under the Lake County Forward initiative.

Counties have broad discretion over how to spend ARPA resources, but there are constraints set by the US Treasury that Lake County must follow. Lake County established task forces that aligned with the US Treasury’s compliance guidance.

Below is a summary of programs and projects that are being funded:

Construction of affordable housing in Highland Park (8 Units)$500,000
Construction of a permanent fixed-site PADS shelter for those experiencing homelessness$7,060,000
Emergency Rental Assistance Program continuation$6,000,000
Eviction mediation program$130,000
External organization projects focused on negative economic impact, public health, and capital$15,666,390
Food distribution$2,000,000
Food distribution to homeless$227,000
Food, shelter & rental assistance to veterans$393,902
Highwood affordable housing development (44 Units)$1,400,000
Libertyville senior housing - Creation of new affordable housing units (32 Units)$1,500,000
Non-congregate sheltering of people experiencing homelessness$840,000
Preservation of affordable rental housing in Mundelein/Lake Zurich (7 Units)$1,540,000
Services for unhoused persons$50,000
Staffing for Emergency Rental Assistance Program$300,000

ARPA Funded External Projects

Lake County accepted ARPA program and service requests from Sept. 30 - Oct. 31, 2022, from nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations, and local units of government other than municipalities to aid in the response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. At the August 8, 2023 meeting, the Lake County Board approved appropriating $15.6 million of the $135.2 million of the ARPA funds. 

View the list of projects that were approved to receive funding below, including a brief description of each one and the amount that was allocated:

Allendale Association, Inc.: Hope and Healing Allendale Association, Inc. is an organization that provides in-home mental health services for youth and families. Funding was allocated to pay for additional staff to continue providing these services.$169,432 
Boys & Girls Club of Lake County: Teen Innovation LabBoys & Girls Club of Lake County was allocated $1,050,000 to build a Teen Innovation Lab in Waukegan to address the academic disparities experienced by students in low-income communities.$1,050,000 
CASA Lake County: Court Appointed Special Advocate ProgramCourt Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lake County were allocated $864,900 to expand their offices and to pay the salaries of new staff to meet increased demand caused by the pandemic. $864,900 
Community Partners for Affordable Housing: Lake County Affordable Housing HubThe Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) was allocated $500,000 for the acquisition and buildout of a 7,500 sq. ft. commercial space on the first floor of a senior housing development that CPAH owns. This space will provide CPAH an opportunity to expand and provide low- and moderate-income individuals with support and services related to housing such as homeownership programs and home repair.$500,000 
Community Partners for Affordable Housing: Lake County Senior ResidencesCommunity Partners for Affordable Housing was allocated $3,000,000 to develop affordable housing for seniors in Lake County.$3,000,000 
Erie Family Health Center, Inc: Behavioral Health Supports for Lake County FamiliesErie Family Health Center, Inc. (Erie)was allocated funds to pay the salaries of two new psychiatrist staff members. These new staff will help address the county's increased need for mental health services.$252,211 
Gateway Foundation, Inc.: Strengthening Recovery Support & ResourcesGateway Foundation, Inc. (Gateway) was allocated funds to hire three new staff members (a program director, specialist, and event coordination support) to provide health services for individuals suffering from substance abuse.$378,151 
JCFS Chicago: Behavioral Health Supports to Low-Income Lake County ResidentJCFS Chicago (JCFS) was allocated funds to pay for one full-time staff salary for the years 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, and 2007. This staff member provides mental health counseling services to disadvantaged and low-income individuals.$288,879 
Nicasa Behavioral Health Services: Care Coordination for Behavioral HealthNicasa Behavioral Health Services (Nicasa) was allocated $600,000 to implement a care coordination program to serve all the individuals under Nicasa's substance abuse and mental health services. The funds will be used to hire staff, as well as IT equipment, and other program costs.$600,000 
Nicasa Behavioral Health Services: First Responder and Veteran Wellness CenterNicasa Behavioral Health Services (Nicasa) was allocated $2,368,150 to remodel and furnish a building that was donated for their services, as well as hire new staff (one full-time clinical supervisor, 1.5 full-time Counselors, two full-time Peer Specialists) to expand their current mental health services to first responders and veterans.$2,368,150 
North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic: Family Safety Planning Legal ServicesNorth Suburban Legal Aid Services was allocated $200,000 to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.$200,000 
North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic: Housing Legal Services for COVID impacted ClinicsNorth Suburban Legal Aid Clinic was allocated $200,000 to provide legal aid services to individuals facing housing insecurity.$200,000 
PADS Lake County: Non-congregate Shelter BudgetPADS Lake Countywas allocated $1.36 million to provide non-congregant shelter services (re. provide hotel rooms) for unhoused Lake County residents.$1,360,000 
Roberti Community House: Behavioral Health Mental Health and WellnessRoberti Community House (Roberti) was allocated funds to pay for costs associated with providing mental health and wellness services. Roberti will hire a new staff member trained to provide these services, and a part-time Spanish-speaking support staff member. Other program costs are also included (IT, communication equipment, and rent).$77,320 
The Josselyn Center, NFP: COVID-19 Mental Health Capacity BuildingThe Josselyn Center (The Center) was allocated $3,000,000 to complete the unfinished interior space of a building in downtown Waukegan that the Center will use to expand its current mental health service offerings as well as to pay for staff salaries and other related expenses.$3,000,000 
Wauconda Fire Protection District: Cardiac Monitor & AEDsThe Wauconda Fire Protection District (WFPD) was allocated $51,600 to purchase a cardiac monitor defibrillator and three auto external defibrillators. The linkages between cardiac distress and COVID-19 have been well documented and this project will provide WFPD personnel with additional diagnostic tools and treatments, which will positively impact patient outcomes.$51,600 
Waukegan Park District: McAlister Special Recreation Building RenovationThe Waukegan Park District (WPD) was allocated  $150,000 to renovate and rehabilitate a vacant building in Waukegan, Illinois.$150,000 
Wauconda Fire Protection District: Mobile Integrated HealthcareThe Wauconda Fire Protection District (WFPD) was allocated funding for its Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) program. This includes the purchase of a new vehicle and maintenance, salaries for paramedics, operating expenses, and medical equipment.$260,044 
YBLC, Inc d/b/a YouthBuild Lake County: Affordable Housing Construction and TrainingYBLC was allocated funding to pay for the costs of purchasing and renovating a home, and building two homes on vacant lots currently owned by YBLC. Additionally, this will support the education programs that YBLC offers to low-income youth (16-24 years of age) to help them attain a GED, and skills for trade work that these individuals then use on housing projects for YBLC.$477,500 
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago: Health Promotion and Navigation Services ProgramYWCA Metropolitan Chicago (YWCA) was allocated $418,203 for its Health Promotion and Navigation Services Program. This program is intended to provide education, outreach, health screenings and diagnostics, referrals, follow-up care, and assisting individuals to access basic needs.$418,203

Strategic Plan Driven Recommendations

Lake County utilized a number of community-driven and other organization-based strategic plans that served as road maps to guide decisions for the future. The following are examples of plans that influenced how Lake County prioritized and invested resources:

Watch Special Committee on 
COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery and Investments

July 28, 2023AgendaVideo
June 2, 2023AgendaVideo
April 28, 2023AgendaVideo
April 21, 2023
March 3, 2023
February 3, 2023
August 26, 2022
June 3, 2022
April 29, 2022AgendaVideo
March 25, 2022AgendaVideo
February 23, 2022AgendaVideo
February 10, 2022AgendaVideo
December 10, 2021AgendaVideo
November 19, 2021AgendaVideo
November 5, 2021AgendaVideo
October 15, 2021AgendaVideo