Thurston County Commissioners Award Treatment Sales Tax Funds

heartstrides
Heart Strides will use the Treatment Sales Tax for their Equine Assisted Youth Peer Support program. Photo courtesy: Heart Strides

Submitted by Thurston County Board of Commissioners

Thurston County residents with mental health or substance use issues will benefit from grants awarded by the Thurston County Commissioners. Yesterday, the Commissioners approved $331,560 in Treatment Sales Tax (TST) funds for five community organizations located in Thurston County.

“These Treatment Sales Tax funds will sustain existing services and expand critical services for individuals in our community with mental health and substance use needs,” said Bud Blake, Commission Chair. “We are excited to focus on youth, families, veterans, and housing through these grants.”

To qualify for TST funds, organizations must use evidence-based or promising practices that have consistently demonstrated their effectiveness in helping people with substance abuse or mental health challenges achieve their goals.

Programs funded include:

Community Youth Services- Mental Health/ Substance Abuse Treatment for Homeless Youth ($25,000)

Community Youth Services, a state certified community mental health agency, will serve homeless young adults ages 12 -24 with mental health, substance use, or co-occurring disorders. Programming will focus on young people accessing the Rosie’s Place drop-in center, with a goal of engaging youth who are not yet connected to case management or other treatment services.

Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties: Monarch Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center Children’s Therapy Program ($87,383)

Monarch Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center – Children’s Therapy Program will provide specialized, evidence-based, sexual abuse mental health therapy services to victims of child sexual abuse and their affected, non-offending family members. The funds will allow the program to continue to reduce the wait list and provide one-on-one treatment sessions for post-traumatic stress disorder.

YWCA Olympia – Girl’s Council – Treatment and Diversion from Court and Detention ($75,000)

The YWCA of Olympia will offer cross-system, gender responsive, and trauma-informed models of mental health and substance use treatment for young women ages 12-17 who are in detention, diversion, or at risk.

Heart Strides- Equine Assisted Youth Peer Support ($26,560)

Heart Strides will provide Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies and Peer Support to teach positive youth development, overcome barriers, and reduce problem behavior for youth ages 12-17 with mental health or substance use needs who are involved with Thurston County Juvenile Court.

Catholic Community Services- Drexel House II- Case Management for Veterans in Permanent Supportive Housing ($87,617)            

Catholic Community Services will provide Case Management Services to veterans with behavioral health needs residing at Drexel House II, a Permanent Supportive Housing program.

Northwest Resources- Housing for Individuals with Behavioral Health Needs ($30,000)

Northwest Resources will be able to expand an existing program providing case management, rental assistance and transportation assistance to individuals with behavioral health needs. Many participants are housed in clean and sober living facilities such as Oxford Houses.

What is the Treatment Sales Tax?

Washington State law allows counties to collect a 1/10 of 1% sales tax to fund enhanced and expanded substance use and mental health treatment services, and for therapeutic courts. Thurston County has collected this tax since 2009. The Treatment Sales Tax (TST) is an important local funding stream that works alongside federal and state funding, such as Medicaid, to meet mental health and substance use needs in Thurston County. Through reduced justice involvement, emergency room use, health care costs, and public assistance and increased earnings, TST programs save our community approximately $4 for every $1 spent.

You can find more information at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/treatment-tax/docs/tst-overview.pdf.

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