OAKLAND TOGETHER: A message from Dave Coulter, Oakland County Executive


December 6, 2021

Bi-Weekly Executive Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We have all hoped, and prayed, that none of our towns would be added to that list of communities hit by violence in our schools. But on Tuesday, those illusions were shattered and now, all of us are grieving with the extended Oxford school community

Four precious children were killed in yet another case of violence in our schools. Remember their names: Hana, Justin, Madisyn and Tate. They were teenagers who were artists and athletes with bright futures ahead of them. Another six students and a teacher were wounded in the shootings.

But make no mistake, there are no students, faculty and staff who were left unscathed in this or the hundreds of other tragedies that have occurred in districts across the country.

There were more than 1,700 students at Oxford High School who were forced to flee the violence on Tuesday. And that is a trauma that isn’t easily erased for those students, their families and the larger community. These incidents affect all of us in some way. They rip away our sense of safety along with the peace and security that should be rightfully ours in our homes, our schools, our churches and our community centers.

It hits home here at the Oakland County government campus as well, from the first responders and the dedicated employees at the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office who were first on the scene to the county employees in Children’s Village, the courts and Prosecutor’s office, Medical Examiner’s office who have been directly touched by this crisis.

And there are hundreds of employees who live in Oxford and know some of the victims.

There is no shame in seeking help, comfort and guidance during these trying times and Oakland County is prepared and committed to providing those services for anyone struggling with the pain and trauma.

Even if you don’t take advantage of services now, they will be there when you need them. Because once the vigils are over and our treasured children have been buried, the gravity of this week’s grief will begin to sink in.

We’re compiling a directory of resources at oakgov.com that are available for people seeking help.


There will be plenty of time for conversations and policy debates on what we can do to prevent this from happening again. But right now, we’re laser focused on doing everything we can to support these families, this school and our extended Oxford community.

And in the meantime, every day and especially during this holiday season, I’m always extremely impressed and grateful for all the dedicated professionals who rush into scenes of chaos with a sense of purpose and passion to do the jobs they are well prepared and trained for.


We owe all of them daily thanks for helping keep us safe.


With gratitude,

Dave Coulter

Oakland County Executive

press conference

Mental Health grants awarded to 42 non-profit agencies

Oakland County announced last week that it awarded $8.5 million in Oakland Together Mental Health and Wellbeing grants to 42 non-profit agencies to increase access to mental health services to Oakland County residents.


The grants are funded through some of the federal American Rescue Plan dollars received by the county. The non-profit organizations will be building, expanding or offering new mental health, behavioral health and substance abuse services across Oakland County.

This will help pare down a daunting waiting list for services and help get our struggling adults and students the services they need. The leading experts in pediatric health declared last month that the mental health crisis among children has reached national emergency status.


The list of grant recipients will end up offering a variety of services to young and old, survivors of child abuse and neglect and human trafficking. There will be mobile, virtual and in-person services and an urgent care clinic geared specifically for people in crisis.

Some of the grants will be used to help people navigate the morass of insurance bureaucracy while others will be used to expand and train staff. In all, the grants will help an estimated 66,311 additional people seeking services.


Oakland County releases Blueprint to End Homelessness

The Oakland County Neighborhood and Housing Development Division and community partners released of the “Blueprint to End Homelessness,” completing a report that addresses a key priority of the administration.

The Blueprint makes it clear that ending homelessness will not happen without long-term commitment and vision to prevent homelessness before it happens.

Some of the goals in the Blueprint include: establishing a county-wide affordable housing trust fund; identifying sources, community acceptance and locating an additional shelter in south Oakland County; increasing the number of hours of service and beds in emergency shelters; creating a system that will track the availability of shelter space across the county and provide case management to coordinate services across communities.

shop small

Shop Small, Shop Local in Oakland County this holiday season

With thousands of small businesses dotting Oakland County’s downtowns and the holiday season firmly upon us, Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter urged residents last week to Shop Small and Shop Local.

“You can not only get great variety by shopping local, but you’re also supporting the local economy and the workers who are your neighbors, friends and family,” Coulter said. “And your dollars are staying in the local economy when you shop in these small businesses that are the binding threads in the fabric of our communities.”

Oakland County is promoting Small Business Saturday and “Shopping Small and Local” throughout December. The county has created a webpage at OakGov.com/ShopSmall where shoppers can search for community holiday activities and businesses and community partners can discover resources to support shopping locally.