Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $150,000)
The population of Nebraska is 1.9 million, making it the 37th most populous state in the USA. With over half of these individuals living in Douglas County (City of Omaha) and Lancaster County (City of Lincoln), these two localities are the largest metropolitan areas in the state. Similar to other cities and communities across America, Omaha and Lincoln struggle with issues of systemic racism that prevent Black and Brown families and neighborhoods from thriving. Communities of Color have expressed the need for more positive community policing, as racial/ethnic tensions and issues of police violence continue to persist.
Lancaster County is seeking $150,000 of federal funding to enhance work in collaboration with Douglas County for our current crisis training and crisis response system. The two main goals of the program are: 1) Analyze the current crisis response system; and 2) Enhance existing crisis training and strategies in place for responding to crisis calls.
Specifically, we will contract with CAHOOTS to assess our current crisis system. This will involve identifying who could be community partners when responding to crisis calls in our community. It will also involve a thorough data analysis of our current crisis repose system. BJA’s Crisis Response and Intervention Training Program will be used to enhance existing training and aid in training other community responders.
Based on the assessment, a comprehensive community-based crisis response system will be developed. Over the course of the grant, it is estimated approximately 1,500 individuals in our community with mental illness and/or disabilities will be the direct beneficiaries of this funding.
Lancaster County received the Juvenile Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Grant #2020-MO-BX-0015. We are planning on subcontracting with White Bird Consulting - Eugene, Oregon; University of Nebraska at Lincoln; Lutheran Family Services – Omaha, Nebraska; Region V – Lincoln, Nebraska; University of Nebraska Medical Center – Omaha, Nebraska; and the Mental health Association – Lincoln, Nebraska.
Both Douglas and Lancaster County are very fortunate to have numerous partner agencies included in this grant. These partners include behavioral health providers, cultural centers, disability advocates, law enforcement, and community-based providers. Establishing a crisis response collaborative with our community partners will build trust between some of our most vulnerable residents and law enforcement. Through this funding opportunity, our community will finally be able to take our crisis response system to scale.