Summary of Our Position on the City Budget
CMHPS urges City of Ann Arbor officials to take advantage of the current opportunity for significant progress on three important issues:
Greater use of unarmed response to crises and high stress situations
Improved services for those in households with a member living with a mental health condition
Improved services for children and youth with emphasis on those at-risk
The rate of improvement in services can accelerate in the next few years because of two sources of funds that match particularly well with these three issues.
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA): ARPA is a federal program that has granted $24 million to the City of Ann Arbor. The decisions on how to spend these funds must be in place no later than December 31, 2024. They must be spent by December 31, 2026.
County Mental Health & Public Safety Millage (“Millage”): The City of Ann Arbor will have revenues from the Millage of about $12 million in 2023-2026. Most people who voted for the Millage wanted the revenues to be used for these purposes.
As unarmed service providers play a larger role, the need for armed officers will decline — resulting in savings of about $6 million from now through 2026. Finally, the City is likely to be successful in acquiring external grants. Summarizing, funding sources totaling to a minimum of $42 million match well the programs recommended for funding in this paper.
CMHPS urges City officials to appropriate the following amounts as they formulate a spending plan for ARPA and other funds. The recommendations are totals for 2023-2026. The two highest priority programs in each category are listed explicitly.
I. Greater Use of Unarmed Crisis Response: $2.0 million
A. Joint planning and implementation with Washtenaw County: $1.1 million
B. Evaluation of whether crisis response reforms are working as intended: $0.5 million
II. Serving Households With A Member Living With A Mental Health Condition: $4.0 million
A. Access the insights of those with experience with a mental health condition: $0.1 million
B. Funds for supportive housing that leverage funds from other sources: $2.4 million
III. Serving Children and Youth With Emphasis on Those At-Risk: $5.0 million
A. Youth Assessment Center providing 24/7 emotional support and help: $1.5 million
B. Youth & Family Resource Center — 24/7 one-stop/call source of help: $0.9 million
IV. Programs Supporting All Three of the Above Priorities: $3.5 million
A. Support Services for Residents of Supportive and Affordable Housing: $2.0 million
B. Coordinated Funding In Addition To the General Fund Support: $2.0 million
The total of $15 million is only 36 percent of the minimum of $42 million noted above.