Solano County Health and Social Services is the recipient of $6 million to provide mental health, substance use disorder treatment and diversion programs for individuals in the criminal justice system.
The funds will be distributed during a three-year period.
Tuesday, the Solano County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the acceptance of the grant funding and the anticipated expenses during the first year.
In a letter issued by the Board of State and Community Corrections explained that grant awards are from a voter initiative that reduces from felonies to misdemeanors certain low-level crimes and directs state savings to rehabilitative programs.
The state board confirmed that there is $103 million in estimated state savings resulting from the enactment of Proposition 47 in 2014.
Gerald Huber, director of Solano County Health and Social Services, said there were 58 grant applications, however, the money will go to 23 applicants whose rehabilitative programs were deemed most promising by a workgroup of the state board.
Solano County is one of them.
In Solano County, the money will go toward expanding service continuum for drug treatment and continued supports for improved outcomes.
Huber said that the first year Solano County will receive $2.4 million.
Andrew Williamson, substance abuse administrator for H&SS, explained that the money is budgeted, among other things, for an increase in detox capacity in northern Solano County since there is only one in Vallejo.
“This project is intended to deepen the capacity to provide residential drug treatment and the many services necessary throughout the continuum of recovery in order to sustain treatment achievements,” wrote Solano County in the grant application. “A lack of residential treatment beds in Solano County makes it difficult for someone engaged in treatment to also transition seamlessly to their community, support system, or even a job opportunity.”
“It’s been needed in Solano County for awhile,” Williamson said of the number of beds and added that the goal is to see a 40 percent reduction in the wait time for detox or residential treatment.
Supervisor Skip Thomson said it’s crucial to get the wait time down to zero as much as possible. He explained that those willing to accept treatment aren’t going to want to wait five to six to seven days, “they want to go now.”
In the first year, the money also will go toward sober living, case management, abuse treatment and legal advocacy.
Huber acknowledged that “$6 million over three years for this population doesn’t go that far.”
He explained that the county will leverage the funding by coordinating with existing services including the mentally ill offender crime reduction grant, in-custody case management programs and homeless outreach.
“Creating in-County resources will improve the ability for our residents to sustain the gains they make when they are in residential treatment,” staff wrote in the grant application. “For others who do not need or will not accept residential treatment, it is critical that they are in a safe and supportive living environment while engaged in outpatient services; for this reason the project also emphasizes transitional housing and sober living environments.”
Other goals include a 30 percent reduction in recidivism, an increase in income and housing stability, and an increase in positive social support.
Supervisor Jim Spering said a baseline needs to be established so that the progress of the goals can be measured.
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