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In the first quarter of 2022, the Board received several updates on the work of the Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) to serve our community. In the first quarter of 2022, OCED continued operating the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, recruited youth and employers for another year of the SummerWorks youth and young adult employment program, and released their 2021 Barrier Busters annual report.The CERA program provided over $6 million of rental, utility, and internet assistance to more than 850 households in 2021. This program, which is a partnership between OCED, Housing Access for Washtenaw County, and SOS Community Service, continued to serve Washtenaw County residents during the first three months of 2022, and will continue to do so moving forward. Learn more, including how to access assistance here.SummerWorks is a summer employment, mentorship, and professional development program for young adults from ages 16 to 24. SummerWorks strengthens the community and develops talent by leveraging local resources and networks to provide career opportunities and mentorship to young adults. In the first quarter, OCED and their partners at the University of Michigan and Michigan Works once again recruited young adults, employers, and mentors for this years program. Learn more @ SummerWorks.infoAt the end of the first quarter, the Barrier Busters Network, coordinated by OCED, released its 2021 Annual Report. The report showed the initiative providing over $500,000 of support to over 900 households to stay in their homes, keep the lights on, afford transportation, and more. The Board has and will continue to support the Barrier Busters program with direct funding, advocacy, and staff support. Individuals interested in learning more can visit the Barrier Busters webpage.Also during the first quarter, the Board continued to support OCED by approving a number of grants that come from the state and federal governments. This includes the funding of a number of critical programs like coordinating the county's housing and homelessness response, providing important resources to seniors like Meals on Wheels, and making community infrastructure improvements. The Board also approved the acceptance of grants to expand OCED's Home Improvement programs, which provide free home improvement services to lower-income households. To learn more, including how to apply, go to this webpage.