Help us find and fund the gaps

Help us find and fund the gaps

In September 2013, the Kitsap County Commission established a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Courts. The funding for the recommendations that this CAC makes comes from the dedicated revenue collected via a 1/10th of 1 percent addition to the county sales tax — $4 million to $5 million collected per year.

These are funds that are collected locally. They are overseen and monitored locally. They go to fund local agencies and service providers.

I am one of the 11 members of this CAC. All of my thoughts and opinions here are entirely my own and do not represent any official statement by the committee or the county.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) for the next grant cycle has been approved by the county commissioners and is available on the county website, http://kitsapgov.com/purchasing/bids.htm.

I encourage Kitsap County service providers to take a very close look at the RFP. If you are an agency or non-profit that serves or is looking to serve in a capacity that falls under the defined purpose of what this money is looking to fund, please take the time to apply.

This is seed money. It is money for gaps and holes within the existing system or network that need some assistance that is not already funded. It is for new programs that have yet to prove successful outcomes that will qualify them for funding from additional resources at the regional, state or federal levels.

I personally agree with and fully support the directive from the county commissioners that this is not a long-term entitlement program. I take that directive very seriously and apply it to all of the personal recommendations I have made and will be making in this next cycle on the applications and requests received. By not having this money already locked up long-term by a small group of providers, it keeps it flexible and available for consideration of awards to new applicants looking to join the list of those funded.

If you are a locally connected organization that can help and find that you qualify for this funding, I want to see your proposal come before the entire CAC. The deadline for submission is 3 p.m. Aug. 1.

Colleen Smidt

Bremerton