Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $535,336)
The County of Washtenaw is applying for grant funding to expand the existing Co-Response Unit (CRU) by adding a second co-response team. The CRU currently has one officer and one social worker who collaborate to improve public health, safety responses, and outcomes for individuals with mental health disorders (MHD) and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (MHSUDs). The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office manages the CRU in collaboration with Washtenaw County Community Mental Health.
The CRU program aims to reduce and divert individuals with serious mental illness away from jail and provide linkages to mental health treatment and support services. This program will benefit individuals in crisis who come in contact with law enforcement by diverting them from the criminal justice system into routine behavioral health care services. The co-responding team will identify the best approach to assist the individuals with the least restrictive methods.
Washtenaw’s 27 cities, villages, and townships are home to about 369,320 citizens. The county’s two largest cities are Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. The county is home to two large universities – the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. As of 2021, the total population of Washtenaw County is 369,390. Most residents (75%) identify as white, 12% as black or African American, 8% as Asian, and 5% as other or multiple races. There are approximately 13,659 residents who identify as Hispanic or Latino. About 12.4% of residents live below the federal poverty level.
The County of Washtenaw has not received a previous JMHCP or Connect and Protect grant. The County is requesting $535,336.00 for this three-year project. Over a 30-month implementation period, the CRU team anticipates 1,800 engagements with a minimum of 900 individuals. This project will promote racial equity and create greater access to services for underserved and historically marginalized populations and reducing the risk of harm to individuals with MHDs or MHSUDs.