Affordable housing, neurodiversity clinic among projects to receive McHenry County grants

Grants are funded using federal COVID-19 recovery dollars

Options & Advocacy for McHenry County is photographed Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in Crystal Lake.

More affordable housing for older adults in Woodstock and a clinic focused on mental health and the different ways the brain works are two projects set to receive federal COVID-19 dollars, county officials said.

The McHenry County Board approved three Advance McHenry County grants for the Ales Foundation, Crystal Lake-based Options and Advocacy for McHenry County and Sage YMCA, totaling more than $3.7 million, at its meeting Tuesday.

The county has used the Advance McHenry County program to distribute the tens of millions of dollars in federal COVID-19 recovery funding it received.

The three grants build on 20 other grants approved since January 2022, collectively worth almost $17.7 million of the nearly $29.9 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding earmarked for such projects, according to a news release.

“These new grants approved by the County Board continue Advance McHenry County’s proud tradition of making thoughtful and impactful investments that improve people’s lives,” County Board chairman Mike Buehler, R-Crystal Lake, said in a statement. “We’ve seen so many wonderful results as Advance-funded initiatives have borne fruit, and I have no doubt that the projects funded by this latest round of grants will do the same.”

The latest grants include $1.9 million for the Ales Foundation, to help build a 70-unit affordable housing building for older adults in Woodstock, one of four planned buildings with 373 units total.

Just under $1.3 million was awarded to Options and Advocacy for McHenry County – which works with children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities – to establish a clinic for neurodiversity and mental health, and $442,000 was granted to Crystal Lake’s Sage YMCA for a financial assistance program for its summer camp and child care offerings.