CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs (HHOMA) is embarking on a statewide listening tour to hear what communities need and how the state’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) allocation can help.
Congress passed the ARPA to stimulate the nation’s recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. West Virginia has been allocated $1.6 billion of ARPA funding.
From August 2021 to December 2022, the marathon tour will visit all 55 counties. At each stop, the HHOMA team will meet with local community leaders, followed by public forums where all community members will be invited to receive information and share their ideas.
Topics of discussion will include the following:
- Pandemic-related challenges
- Targeting greatest needs
- Making an impact
- Pooling resources
“We want to hear all voices in the local communities and invite everyone to attend and discuss areas of need that could potentially be addressed through this allocation,” said Jill Upson, executive director of HHOMA. “As community investments are identified, Governor Jim Justice has called for transparency, sustainability, and sound fiscal management that strengthens equity and includes unserved and underserved populations in our state.”
The first scheduled stops on the tour are:
Wednesday, Aug. 11, 6:30 p.m.
Wellsburg Volunteer Fire Department, Banquet Hall, 12th St., Wellsburg
Thursday, Aug. 12, 6 p.m.
Weirton Millsop Community Center, 3420 Main St., Weirton
Wednesday, Aug. 18, 6:30 p.m.
Laughlin Memorial Chapel, 129 1/2 18th St., Wheeling
Upcoming event dates and locations will be announced throughout the listening tour and can be found online at minorityaffairs.wv.gov/ARPAtour. Details will also be shared on HHOMA’s social media pages.