The Saratoga County Non-Profit Relief Fund recently awarded $20,000 to Alliance180.
Alliance180 is a non-profit that works to prevent suicide by providing peer-to-peer support to veterans and first responders facing trauma through equine experience.
Alliance180 received funds from the Board of Supervisors Non-Profit COVID Relief fund last month.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was not only devastating to businesses throughout the county and directly impacting residents, it also had a detrimental effect on our non-profits that serve county residents,” Board of supervisors chairman Theodore Kusnierz said.
The Board of Supervisors approved $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to be used to assist nonprofits hurt by the pandemic, Kusnierz said. He explained there had been an application process organizations could apply for, and those chosen would be awarded between $500 and $50,000.
Alliance180 was originally designed to help veterans, and has expanded to also help first responders and healthcare workers. The program has helped over 800 individuals since its inception, Kusnierz said.
“It’s just an incredible program for our veterans and first responders,” Kusnierz said. “Every once in a while, there’s a program that comes along and you just want to do all you can to provide a level of support for such a worthwhile program. This is one of those programs.”
The Board of Supervisors announced 177 nonprofit organizations received in June of this year. The Non-Profit Relief Fund program also provided awards to an additional 30 fire and EMS operations throughout the county.
The funding awards began to be given to the recipients about two weeks ago, Kusnierz said.
Alliance180 is one of the “incredible” organizations awarded Clifton Park supervisor Phil Barrett said. He explained Alliance180 utilizes horses as part of therapy to help veterans and first responders. Barrett said he was shown videos of veterans working with horses through Alliance180.
“The utilization of the horses had an incredible immediate impact on the veteran who was having a hard time,” Barrett said. “The reason that you know it’s an immediate and effective impact is just the emotional reaction that the veteran had as he went through this program.”
The town of Clifton Park has a similar program which awards funding to non-profit organizations Barrett said. The town announced its $200,000 in awards earlier this year, he explained.
“The organizations receiving funding is a very diverse group,” Barrett said. “We’re investing in assisting people in every facet of our society, that’s a very important thing.”
The pandemic placed a strain on many nonprofit organizations Barrett said. He explained the need for services provided by these groups has increased since the pandemic.
“The funds are intended to assist nonprofits with funding to ensure they can navigate this very difficult period of time, and accomplish their mission” Barrett said