County Commissioners approve committee recommendations for mental health tax funding

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Kitsap County

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution approving 2022 funding recommendations totaling $7 million, presented by the Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Citizens Advisory Committee, at the Commissioners’ regular business meeting Nov. 8. Funds generated from the 1/10th of 1 percent sales and use tax are designated for mental health, chemical dependency and therapeutic court services in Kitsap County.

“The advisory committee once again made a herculean lift during the annual funding process. The commissioners continue to be appreciative and awed by their ongoing dedication,” said Commissioner Robert Gelder, chair of the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners. “This round not only provides funding continuation, but also targeted investments in new and emerging programs in our community, positioned to meet the needs of individuals with mental health and substance use challenges.”

The 11-member citizen’s advisory committee, appointed by the Commissioners to advise on funding allocations, voted unanimously at their meeting Oct. 19 to recommend funding for 33 of the 37 proposals submitted. The $7 million in awards is for a 12-month period.

“Our committee evaluated 37 submissions requesting a total of $9 million in funding,” noted committee chair Jeannie Screws. “Each proposal took members approximately one hour to review. Following this initial review, the committee interviewed proposers. The proposals were considered in relation to Kitsap County’s Continuum of Care, the 2021 Strategic Plan for Behavioral Health Services, and the $7 million of available funds. The process was extremely difficult due to the needs of the community being even greater this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each proposal offered services that would greatly benefit our community.”

Twenty-one of the programs approved for funding are continuation proposals from January 1, 2021. Ongoing funding was awarded for a variety of therapeutic court programs including behavioral health court, juvenile individualized and drug courts, and adult drug and veterans’ courts. Support for law enforcement includes crisis intervention training, hiring a crisis intervention officer to coordinate response for behavioral health calls and reentry services in the jail.

Twelve of the programs approved for funding are new, including animal-assisted mental health counseling, intensive therapeutic wraparound services for non-Medicaid covered youth, onsite counseling services at Fishline Food Bank and comprehensive services at the YWCA. Peninsula Community Health Services will provide school-based health center behavioral health services for youth.

Seven projects focus on housing support for individuals with behavioral health issues. These include Kitsap Rescue Mission, Kitsap Homes of Compassion, Pendleton Place, Eagles Wings and West Sound Treatment Center. Kitsap Community Resources and Scarlet Road were awarded funds for specialized rental assistance for individuals with behavioral health disorders.

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

Contact Gay Neal, Kitsap County Human Services, at 360-337-4827 or for more information.