CORPUS CHRISTI — Nearly a dozen non-profits are continuing to wait for hundreds of thousands of dollars promised to them by Nueces County.
The $6.8 million in total funding is from the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA and is meant to help the economy and Americans recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2022, the Nueces County Commissioners Court voted to award the money to charities without putting in place certain regulations on how the funds would be distributed.
One of the charities put in limbo is the Broken Chains Recovery Center.
“Every program I’ve been through, I’ve been through quite a bit. This is the one where I found myself,” Randy Jackson said. “I found God and I found my recovery.”
Jackson said when he first opened the door of Broken Chains, he was a broken man.
“I’m an addict,” Jackson said. “And I was doing things I wasn’t supposed to do. I was lying. I was manipulating, lying, stealing.”
The non-profit’s director, Robert Reed, was there to listen.
“People that are coming to us are coming to a treatment facility coming out of incarceration or maybe they’re coming off the streets,” Reed said.
Many have lost everything and lack love and care.
“They want something different they just don’t know how to get it,” Jackson said.
“I want to see that these people have reading and writing skills,” Reed said. “I want to make sure that they understand the principles of handling their own finances.”
Reed has helped many of them flourish like Randy.
“Broken chains has changed my life in so many ways,” Jackson said.
Three and a half years sober and he's barbecuing for other residents.
“It took me three weeks, but I got a job, started paying rent, started barbecuing,” Jackson said.
But a problem from 2019, still exists in 2023.
“I slept on the floor for four days in the day room because we didn’t have any room,” Jackson said.
Reed said Broken Chains has three buildings and he is trying to open another.
“We go from helping 40 people to helping 160 people,” Reed said.
He said he’s relying on the $300,000 from the county that was promised to Broken Chains in September 2022.
“I’m hoping and I’m praying that the property owner doesn’t change their mind and put it back on the market because I keep stalling them for so long,” Reed said.
After an ARPA review, the Nueces County Commissioners Court learned they needed more information and paperwork from nearly a dozen non-profits about how the money will be used.
“There’s only one thing the money is going to be going to spent on and that’s the down payment on the property,” Reed said.
So, charities like Broken Chains still wait for the funds they need to help more people.
“I don’t wanna die anymore but I don’t wanna just live,” Jackson said. “I wanna leave a legacy and I wanna help someone else.”
Nueces County Judge Connie Scott said the court will meet with the non-profits on Monday Feb. 12, to see what the court needs from them to get them the funds they were promised.