Jefferson County grants $4M to local organizations supporting mental health


Jefferson County Courthouse / Birmingham / Linn Park
The Jefferson County Courthouse, home to the Jefferson County Commission. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Last year, the Jefferson County Commission adopted a resolution to allocate $4,000,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for mental health and substance use disorder support. Thanks to this funding, 14 local organizations will be able to lend aid to those in need through a variety of support programs.

Keep reading to learn more about the funding and how these local organizations plan to use it.

Why Jefferson County supports Mental Health

(Glenwood, Inc.)

Did you know that mental health and substance abuse are two of the biggest issues facing Jefferson County?

Between 2016 and 2018, the drug overdose death rate in Jefferson County was 594 deaths per 100,000 population—the highest rate of all Alabama counties. Unfortunately, deaths from drug overdoses soared during the pandemic, with an average of one death per day due to drug overdoses in Jefferson County. According to Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates, 400 people died of overdoses in 2021, up from 302 in 2020.

In addition, many mental health issues have bene exacerbated by the pandemic, social distancing and recent economic struggles.

In response to these issues, the Jefferson County Commission adopted a resolution to allocate $4,000,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for mental health and substance use disorder support in February, 2022. The resolution directed the County Manager to develop programs consistent with the goals of the resolution, as well as screen applicants to make recommendations to the County Commission.

How 14 local organizations are using these funds

Aletheia House$172,500Substance Use
Cahaba Medical Care Foundation$250,000Substance Use
Changed Lives Christian Center$50,000Substance Use
Cooperative Downtown Ministries$278,764Substance Use
Jimmie Hale Mission$740,639.80Substance Use
UAB TASC/Beacon Recovery$367,213Substance Use
The Foundry Ministries, Inc.$140,881Substance Use
Cooperative Downtown Ministries$255,300Mental Health
Crisis Center, Inc.$258,793.98Mental Health
Glenwood$420,000Mental Health
IMPACT Family Counseling$265,000Mental Health
One Place$50,235Mental Health
Priority Soldier$214,963.50Mental Health
YWCA$105,430Mental Health

The Jefferson County Commission selected a total of 14 local organizations to receive portions of ARPA funding, with hopes that the funding will help each organization perform at a higher level for citizens in the long term.

For example, Glenwood will use the funding to pay for three new outpatient clinic therapists to support evaluation and treatment for children, adolescents and families with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other emotional and behavioral concerns.

“The most exciting aspect of the funding allocated to Glenwood by the Jefferson County Commission is that these funds will provide the means for Glenwood to serve more people. With the addition of three new therapists, we will be able to serve about 150 more patients each month than we could prior to receiving this funding. We are always excited and very grateful to be able to serve more people here in our community.”

Ken Oliver, CEO and President, Glenwood

The Jimmie Hale Mission, a nonprofit offering shelter for homeless men, has earmarked their portion of funding for the Active Recovery Program, which aims to graduate at least 250 people each year.

“Once participants graduate from the Active Recovery Program, they will then transition into the continuum of care program supported by the organization. These numbers do not represent the countless family members who feel a positive impact from the program. The impact has the propensity to be multi-generational.”

Tracey K. Guidry, Director of Development, Jimmie Hale Mission

In total, Jefferson County received $127 million in ARPA funding. The funds must be obligated by the end of 2024 and expended by the end of 2026. In addition to the $4M allocated to mental health and substance abuse support, the Jefferson County Commission has allocated:

  • $7M to improve EMS support in unincorporated Jefferson County
  • $13M for household support programs
  • $45M for clean water and storm water projects

Want to learn more about how Jefferson County is utilizing ARPA funds? Visit their website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn!

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Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

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