LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A Russellville-based charitable nonprofit has received a $1.25 million grant to expand its outreach.

The grant to ARVAC, the Arkansas River Valley Area Council, is from the Bezos Day 1 Family Fund. In announcing the grant, ARVAC CEO Stephanie Garner said the agency would use the money for its outreach to fight homelessness.

“With limited funding available and those resources steadily depleting, we are thrilled to direct the Day 1 Families Funds award towards strengthening our commitment to the current homeless community and broadening our outreach,” Garner said.

Garner continued that the funds would be used for mental health services and providing shelter and crucial treatment for homeless families.

According to Bezos fund representatives, ARVAC was selected to receive the grant by a group of national advisors who are leading experts and advocates on homelessness.

This year, the fund issued a total of $117.55 million in grants to 38 organizations including ARVAC.

ARVAC was established 50 years ago as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty initiative. Its programs focus on providing resources to the homeless to allow them to move into the middle class.

The Bezos Day 1 Family Fund was established in 2018 by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with a $2 billion commitment to fight homelessness. Since its founding, the organization has provided $639.1 million to organizations in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.