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JACO INTERVIEW: Comptroller Darlene Green on using U.S. COVID-19 funds

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green is optimistic that the city’s use of the first $80 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan is targeting what she calls “kitchen table” problems.

That includes taking COVID-19 vaccinations to homebound residents. It also includes direct relief such as cash payments, utility assistance and other aid for residents who are struggling to pay rent or are already homeless, plus “wraparound” health and human services for families and individuals in crisis.

Jobs and child care are part of the picture, as well as legal assistance and help navigating the overall public service process.

Instead of using such money for “brick and mortar” projects, most of the funds will be used for public health and wellbeing. That’s a change in governing philosophy, reporter Charles Jaco suggested, and Green readily agreed.

“We have the opportunity with a sizeable amount of direct relief to reach those who need it the most,” she explained.

Staff is home to The NorthSider and The SouthSider weekly community newspapers. The SouthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Tuesday. The NorthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Thursday. They are distributed at over 600 locations across St. Louis.

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