By Christine Bryant
Franklin County residents who head to the polls in November will be asked to renew a levy that will continue mental health and alcohol and drug treatment services.
Earlier this summer, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution that will place a 5-year, 2.2 mill renewal levy for the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board (ADAMH) on the Nov. 3 ballot.
The current 2.2 mill property tax levy, which accounts for 71 percent of ADAMH’s total budget, is set to expire in December 2016, said Aimee Shadwick, public affairs manager for the organization. The current levy costs $67.18 per year per $100,000 of home property value.
If the ADAMH ballot issue passes, taxpayers would notice no change to the amount they currently pay for these community services, she said. Collections would begin in January 2017.
ADAMH plans, funds and evaluates the mental health and substance abuse treatment system in Franklin County. In 2014, the organization connected over 23,000 residents to mental health and alcohol and drug treatment services. ADAMH also funded prevention and early intervention services for more than 75,000 adults and children.
Now, the requested levy funds will not only be used to maintain the current safety net of services, but will also help meet the emerging needs of the community, Shadwick said. These needs include youth crisis services, suicide prevention, permanent supportive housing, and heroin, opiate, alcohol and other drug addiction treatment.
“The need for safe and affordable housing continues to be a concern in our community,” she said. “There are about 3,000 ADAMH consumers on a waitlist for housing.”
People who have a place to call home have improved treatment outcomes and reduced costs to the community, Shadwick said.
“The ADAMH Board will continue to prioritize housing and add additional units to our current housing portfolio of 1,276 units,” she said. “Our goal is to work with community partners to add 330 units of housing in the form of permanent supportive housing, transitional housing units and recovery residences over the next 10 years.”
These housing services play a crucial role in making sure individuals and their families have the treatment and support services necessary to maintain life in recovery, Shadwick said.
Go to adamhfranklin.org for more information.