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City of Somerville Awards $10 Million to Local Nonprofit Organizations

More than 35 Community Groups Receiving Funds from the City’s American Rescue Plan Act Funds

Mayor Katjana Ballantyne announces the award of $10 million by the City of Somerville to more than 35 local nonprofit groups to help strengthen and grow their organization and programming. The $10 million distribution is part of the City’s investment of its federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation to support community organizations. 

"Building a city that supports progress for all doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It takes thoughtful and collaborative partnerships with our nonprofit community,” said Mayor Ballantyne. “Whether their focus is food accessibility, healthcare, career development, or cultural growth, these organizations are out in Somerville every day, tirelessly assisting our residents. Their commitment and dedication have made a tremendous impact in our community, and with these funds, we are demonstrating our unwavering support for their continued efforts."

This round of funding allowed nonprofits to individually determine where funding was most needed in order to best serve community members. As a result, the $10 million will support both specific new projects and general capacity building for the Somerville nonprofit community. Awarded projects address the funding priorities identified in the community engagement process including: 

  • Housing
  • Youth Services
  • Economic Development
  • Infrastructure Improvements
  • Community Programming

Funded projects, which range from creating a science club for young women interested in STEM, to the Magoun Square & Winter Hill commercial district revitalization, and expanding the Cambridge Health Alliance’s mobile medicine program for unhoused persons, also align with the Mayor's ARPA Advisory Committee recommendation that between 60% and 80% of funds be spent on the high-priority areas of housing, youth services, economic development, and infrastructure.

“In its 19 years of service to Somerville, Union Square Main Streets has never seen anything more taxing for the 200 local businesses we serve as the COVID-19 pandemic. These independently-owned mom-and-pop shops were on the frontlines of the unknown and endured extended business disruptions while fighting to stay alive and to keep Union Square a unique and diverse place,” said Jessica Eshleman, Executive Director of Union Square Main Streets. “Many continue to reel from recovery, catching up on rent, supply chain disruptions, and staffing and inflation challenges. ARPA funds enable our economic empowerment nonprofit to better serve these businesses on their path to a resilient recovery and provide resources to facilitate meaningful connections between them and the thousands of new residents and day time workers that are beginning to fill the many developments that are changing Somerville’s skyline. We are grateful for our collaboration with the City. This ARPA award enables us to pilot an alternate business model with the goals of scaling our nonprofit alongside the rapidly developing district we serve, and importantly, of providing models for business districts throughout Somerville."

To see the full list of awardees and distribution allotments, please visit:

About ARPA

The City of Somerville has been allocated $77,504,170 from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to aid in local pandemic recovery efforts. Informed by input from nearly 2,000 survey responses, dozens of focus groups, two public forums, and a 14-member advisory committee, the City has been designating ARPA funds for a wide range of recovery purposes. To date, all ARPA funding has been allocated to pandemic recovery efforts ranging from direct aid for households to critical infrastructure investments. Of those allocations, more than $16,800,000 has been granted to Somerville nonprofits to administer emergency pandemic-related relief programs. 

To learn more about the City’s current ARPA projects and funding parameters, visit


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