- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 27, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -

Officials in the Omaha area are allocating $10 million of unspent federal coronavirus relief aid for rent, food aid and mental health services.

Douglas County Board member Mike Boyle said many people continue to be evicted from their homes despite a federal moratorium. And he described Tuesday’s decision to give $2 million in rent and mortgage assistance to the Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless to distribute as “a rare opportunity” to help people who are “really hurting.”

County officials have said many people who needed help with rent weren’t able to meet federal CARES Act documentation or other requirements, the Omaha World-Herald reports.

“They aren’t going to have to jump through all the hoops that are put together by the feds,” Boyle said.

Another $6 million will be earmarked for mental health, although the details haven’t been finalized. Board Chair Mary Ann Borgeson said it may go to such things as training for 911 operators and dispatchers, or a program to send mental health professionals to crisis calls to 911.

The board also unanimously approved allowing $2 million to the the Food Bank for the Heartland.

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