A new application period for the state’s Pregnancy Resource Center Grant opens today, Oct. 24, according to Scott Hardin, spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
The deadline for submitting applications is Nov. 23. Applicants will be vying for a share of $546,000, the amount remaining after 14 organizations were awarded $454,191 in an initial round of the grant program in September.
“We anticipate the remaining $546,000 will be distributed in full by the end of the year as a result of this application period,” Hardin said in an email.
Organizations that received funds in the first round “are certainly welcome to apply again,” Hardin said. “We also encourage those that did not initially apply to consider whether they may qualify for funding.”
The General Assembly set aside $1 million for the grant program earlier this year with the aim of funding crisis pregnancy centers, adoption agencies, maternity homes and “social service agencies that provide material support and other assistance to individuals facing an unintended pregnancy to help those individuals give birth to their unborn children.”
Crisis pregnancy centers are often religiously affiliated and discourage clients from ending their pregnancies. Republican lawmakers and other leaders have held up the centers as critical now that abortion has been almost entirely outlawed in Arkansas since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
The grant program’s goal is to help pregnant Arkansans give birth regardless of whether the organization or the client practices any religion, so the money can only be used for non-religious services, Hardin said in August.
Sixteen organizations applied for grants in the first round: 14 received the full amounts requested, two received partial grants and two received no funds because their applications did not meet the grant qualifications.
The centers that received grants planned to use it primarily for advertising, including targeted digital ads aimed at Arkansans whose online activity suggests that they may have an unplanned pregnancy, according to the applications, which the Advocate obtained through an Arkansas Freedom of Information Act request.
Recipients have until June 30 to spend the grants. Any leftover funds are to be returned to the state treasury.
The organizations that received grants in the first round and the amounts were:
- The Cradle Maternity Support Center, Berryville: $5,880
- 1st Choice Pregnancy Resource Center, Hope: $10,501
- Hope of the Delta Center, Pine Bluff/Stuttgart/West Memphis: $32,225.00
- Hannah Pregnancy Resource Center, Camden/El Dorado/Magnolia: $39,510
- Pregnancy Resource Center for Southwest Arkansas, Arkadelphia: $39,954.71
- Caring Hearts Pregnancy Center, Little Rock/North Little Rock: $39,960
- Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries, Little Rock: $39,962.50
- Open Arms Pregnancy Center, Huntsville: $39,998
- HopePlace, Newport: $40,000.00
- St. Joseph’s Helpers of Pulaski County d/b/a Arkansas Pregnancy Resource Center, Little Rock: $40,000
- Heart to Heart Pregnancy and Family Care Center, Fort Smith: $40,000
- PLUM Foundation, West Memphis: $40,000
- Changepoint Pregnancy Care & Parenting Center, Hot Springs: $11,600 of $40,000 requested because “fundraising and facilities expansion are not allowable costs,” according to the grant distribution data.
- New Beginnings Pregnancy Center, Benton: $34,600 of $40,000 requested because payments for staff to fundraise were not allowable uses.
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