Kitsap County News

Commissioners approve mental health tax funding recommendations11/10/2020

​The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners on Nov. 9 approved the allocation of $5.5 million in funds generated from the 1/10th of 1 percent sales and use tax, designated for mental health, chemical dependency and therapeutic court services in Kitsap County. The awards follow the recommendations of the Kitsap County Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Citizens Advisory Committee.

“These awards help fill funding gaps and go directly to support programs and services that serve those suffering from mental illness or drug and alcohol dependency,” said Charlotte Garrido, chair of the Board of Commissioners. “Developing a more systematic approach through a continuum of care model diverts individuals from hospitals, jail and the courts into crisis intervention and therapeutic services. This directly benefits the individuals and our communities.”

The Commissioner-appointed, 11-member citizens advisory committee on Oct. 20 voted unanimously to recommend $5.5 million in funding for a 12-month period for 23 of the 26 proposals submitted.

“The CAC evaluated 26 submissions, requesting a total of $7.2 million in funding,” noted Jeannie Screws, chair of the advisory committee. “These submissions were closely reviewed and each of the proposers was interviewed. The committee considered each proposal in relation to the County’s continuum of care, strategic plan for services and available funds. The process was extremely difficult due to the needs of the community being even greater this year and funding lower than anticipated. Each proposal offered services that would benefit our community greatly.”

Fifteen of the programs approved for funding were continuation proposals from the current funding year. These include a variety of therapeutic court programs such as behavioral health court, juvenile individualized and drug courts, adult drug court and veterans courts. Law enforcement received funding for programs that include crisis intervention training, hiring a crisis intervention officer to coordinate response for behavioral health calls, and for reentry services in the jail. 

Eight of the programs approved for funding are new. These include awards to the City of Poulsbo and Poulsbo Fire Department to implement Kitsap County Fire CARES (Community Assistance, Referral, and Education Services). Peninsula Community Health Services will provide integrated care coordination program with wraparound services, behavioral health and primary care services. 

Five of the funded projects, including those for Kitsap Rescue Mission and Kitsap Homes of Compassion, focus on housing and hiring specialists to support individuals with behavioral health issues.

A complete list of the funding recommendations approved by Commissioners is available here.  

For more information, contact Gay Neal, program coordinator in the Kitsap County Department of Human Services at or 360-337-4827.

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