Little Rock board of directors greenlights slate of contracts with 10 local groups aimed at tackling crime and violence
Little Rock board members on Tuesday approved a slate of resolutions to enter into contracts of varying amounts with 10 organizations to address crime and community violence.
Five of these entities are new entrepreneurs who have never worked with the city’s Department of Community Programs.
The duration of each contract will run from March 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023.
Funding will come from Little Rock’s share of federal money distributed to local governments through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
At Tuesday’s meeting, board members voted separately on each contract after opting to split the original omnibus-style resolution.
The closest vote was for a proposed $88,642 contract with Big Brothers Big Sisters of central Arkansas. The measure passed 6-4 after Ward 2 City Manager Ken Richardson changed his vote from “present” to “yes”.
Richardson voted “present” on the other nine items, which were approved.
The organizations the city has used fall into one of five categories, as outlined in council documents: conflict resolution/anger management, hospital-based intervention, life skills, and/or workforce readiness. workforce, mental health and well-being, and the prevention of violent crime. intervention.
The entities are:
• Community Dispute Resolution Centers of Arkansas Inc.
• Unit Martial Arts
• The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
• Brandon House Cultural and Performing Arts Center
• Restore hope
• Our house
• Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas
• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas
• Songbird Multimedia (The group is also known as Sunflower Gardens Community Outreach, a city official said at Tuesday’s meeting.)
• Lessons learned
The resolutions approved Tuesday gave different amounts for each proposed contract, with UAMS, Restore Hope and the Arkansas Community Dispute Centers at the high end of nearly $200,000 each.
The lowest amount awarded to a contractor was $28,500 for Unity Martial Arts.
Another resolution approved Tuesday calls for the city to contract with basketball organization FAB44 to operate a daytime labor program.
An omnibus-style version of the resolution on the Little Rock website on Friday referred to the funding source as the city’s 2022 budget for the Department of Community Programs, which oversees the distribution of prevention funds, intervention and treatment.
But on Monday, a new release said funds for the programs were available from the city’s first tranche of American Rescue Plan Act funds. Nearly $19 million was received in May, with the second half of the federal money expected to be received later this year.
After 11 people, including a 1-year-old child, were injured and one person died in a shooting over a four-day period from January 28, city council members approved on February 1 a resolution declaring violence and firearms. – crimes related to a public health emergency.
However, the contracts offered before the board on Tuesday were unrelated to the recent declaration of emergency.
The city’s intergovernmental relations officer, Emily Jordan Cox, recalled on Tuesday how an earlier city resolution said some of the money from the American Rescue Plan Act was earmarked for violence intervention programs. community for $1.5 million.
City Council approved this resolution in August 2021.
The RFPs were released in December, according to Cox’s presentation to the board.
Once the expenses associated with the two resolutions — one related to FAB44 and the other related to the 10 entities — are added together, the sum will not exceed the total of $1.5 million, Cox said.
Dana Dossett, director of the Department of Community Programs, told board members that the work done because of the contract with FAB44 would complement Little Rock’s existing efforts on 3-1-1 service requests.
She said the resolution that would conclude the city’s contract with the 10 entities would deliberately cast a wide net.
Contract amounts would not exceed $200,000, but exact amounts have not yet been negotiated, pending board approval, Dossett said.
Dossett said organizations working with the Department of Community Programs for the first time include Unity Martial Arts, UAMS, Restore Hope, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas and Lessons Learned.
Unity Martial Arts offered an after-school program at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary for approximately 30 students in grades 1-4.
UAMS offered a patient-centered approach to delivering immediate violence prevention intervention in the trauma center for hard-to-reach individuals. The medical center wants to enroll and retain at least 50 participants in the first year, Dossett said.
Restore Hope seeks to provide life skills and labor market readiness programs to those involved in the justice system who are also parents by expanding the group’s “100 Families” initiative.
Big Brothers Big Sisters wants to provide evidence-based mentoring trainings to 25 organizations and community members, according to the presentation made to the board.
Lessons Learned aims to provide sessions for middle and high school students on how to avoid criminal activity, the ramifications of their choices, and how to make positive decisions, Dossett said.
According to Dossett, each proposal submitted to the board was individually reviewed by a five-member review committee and scored.
The resolution authorizing the contract with FAB44 was approved by an 8 to 2 vote, with Richardson and City Manager Joan Adcock voting no.
On the other resolution, Ward 3 City Manager Kathy Webb moved a motion to vote on each of the 10 contracts separately, and her motion carried.