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Ark-Tex Council of Governments updates on senior meals, homelessness prevention

by Logan Vaughan

ATCOG director Chris Brown and President Red River Judge JD Williamson

The Ark-Tex Council of Governments (ATCOG) provided updates on grants and Hopkins County programs, including homelessness prevention and area agency on aging, at their regular August 26 meeting. 

The Council, of which Hopkins is a member, met at their rotating monthly meeting, this month scheduled in Titus County. Executive director Chris Brown provided an update that ATCOG had now helped 1600 homeless families, 103 of those who were located in Hopkins County. 

According to Brown’s report, Hopkins is the fourth most in need of homelessness prevention, after Bowie (721 families), Titus (183 families) and Lamar (116 families) counties. 

ATCOG also updated that Hopkins County is finishing out its grant process for a much-needed regional communication response trailer. Although the county received a gift of $50,000 from the Sabine River Authority to pay for the trailer, they have put in a grant application through ATCOG for $18,562.50. ATCOG updated that emergency management should have the grant process finished by Nov. 1. 

ATCOG further updated that so far in 2021, in Hopkins County through the Area Agency on Aging, they have provided 2,889 rides to seniors in need and delivered 5,616 home meals. 

ATCOG also met with the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) and heard from director Joe McKinney. McKinney reported that the treasury department would be disbursing “enormous, historical funding” from the American Rescue Plan in the form of community development block grants. 

ATCOG will be eligible for such grants, McKinney said, and has previously helped cities Como and Sulphur Springs in Hopkins County secure such grants before. 

“Transportation and infrastructure are going to be priorities,” McKinney noted.

By Taylor Nye

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