CARES Act Funding – Your Comment Is Needed

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is an economic stimulus bill intended to provide fast and direct economic assistance for American workers and families. The CARES Act law allocated $1 billion to the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program and left it up to the states to decide on the poverty guideline (125% or up to 200%) but the intent of the law was to provide emergency assistance for individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Missouri left the poverty guideline at 125% in the proposed CSBG CARES Act Supplemental State Plan (noted in Section 12, page 24).

At OACAC, we firmly stand in support of a 200% income eligibility guideline and we ask for your support through public comment. Our CSBG Neighborhood/Community Centers program has been determined to be an eligible entity to receive funding under the CARES Act. At this time, the Missouri Department of Social Services is asking for public comments on the proposed amendment to its State CSBG Plan for CARES Act funding. See below for instructions on how to comment. 

The current 2020 poverty guidelines for the U.S. are:

  • 125% Household Number 1 Annual $15,950 (4 would be $32,750)
  • 200% Household Number 1 Annual $25,520 (4 would be $52,400)

A 200% eligibility guideline would allow OACAC to serve a wider group of people, many of whom, due to sudden and unexpected changed circumstances, have never sought or needed to utilize services prior to the pandemic. Proposed uses include direct services and community project initiatives including, but not limited to, rental and mortgage assistance to avoid eviction and foreclosure, transportation costs, mental health support, dental and vision costs, employment supplies such as technology and PPE, educational support, and food security assistance. OACAC will be receiving $2,649,897 for its 10-county service area, to carry out eligible services over a two-year period.

We ask for you to show your support of a 200% eligibility guideline by providing feedback to the Department of Social Services by 5pm on Aug. 28, 2020. Comments may be submitted online to [email protected] or mailed to:      


3418 Knipp Drive, Suite A2

Jefferson City, MO 65109

The official notice, which includes a link to the amended CSBG CARES Act Supplemental State Plan, is below. Please contact Lindsey Dumas-Bell, OACAC Resource Development Manager, with questions. Thank you.

(417) 873-3375 | [email protected]