The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Oct. 8, approving $4.1 million in funding as recommended by the Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Citizens Advisory Committee.
The funds are generated from the 1/10th of 1 percent sales and use tax Commissioners approved Sept. 23, 2013, which are designated for mental health, chemical dependency and therapeutic court services in Kitsap County.
“Most of us know someone with mental illness or drug and alcohol dependency and see that there are behavioral health service gaps in our community,” said Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. “Too often, the de facto systems of care are local jails, courts, and hospital rooms. This funding develops a coordinated approach similar to the continuum of care model from public health.”
Commissioners appoint members to the citizens advisory committee to advise on funding allocations of the mental health tax. The committee voted unanimously Sept. 18 to recommend funding for 19 of the 25 proposals submitted. The awards total $4.1 million for a 12-month period.
“The citizen’s advisory committee evaluated 25 submissions requesting a total of $7.4 million in funding,” said committee chair Richard Daniels, during the Commissioners' business meeting Oct. 8. “These submissions were closely reviewed. Each of the proposers went through a question-and-answer period with the committee. Committee members then considered each proposal in relation to the county’s Continuum of Care, Strategic Plan for Services, and the $4.5 million of funding available. The process was not easy. Every proposal submitted had merit.”
Fourteen of the proposals approved received continuation funding for their programs that were also funded previously for the current year. These include therapeutic court programs such as behavioral health court, juvenile individualized and drug courts, and adult and veterans drug treatment courts. Support for law enforcement crisis intervention training and a program that teams behavioral health navigators with law enforcement officers was also continued.
Five of the programs approved for funding are new, including re-entry coordination at the jail, substance abuse prevention services, support for the Prosecutor’s Office in operating therapeutic courts, pre-development for permanent supportive housing and mobile behavioral health services provided by Peninsula Community Health Services.
A complete list of the funding recommendations and more information on the 1/10th of 1 percent sales and use tax is available here or contact Doug Washburn, director of Kitsap County Human Services, at (360) 337-4526, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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