Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On Friday's Talk Back program, we hosted Rikki Henderson, Housing Programs Manager for the City of Missoula to share information about the $5.5 million Crisis Intervention Levy that will appear on the November general election ballot.

Henderson described the purpose of the levy to our listeners.

Details About the Crisis Intervention Levy

“The Crisis Intervention levy is a county levy that will be before the voters this November,” began Henderson. “This levy would raise approximately $5 million a year to support services that support people in our community in crisis, including services that are addressing mental health, addiction, homelessness and facilitating various criminal justice reforms.”

Henderson explained why the levy is now coming before Missoula County voters even though these services have been in place for the past two years.

Government Funding has Come to an End

“Over the last two years, with some funding from the federal government and the CARES Act, ARPA and grants programs, we're able to respond to an increasing crisis in our community,” she said. “This is not a unique crisis to Missoula. We're seeing increasing homelessness and mental health crises across the country, so as a community, we were really fortunate to be able to set up programs to help respond to that crisis.”

Henderson provided a more complete description of the Mobile Response Team.

“Among those programs is the Mobile Support Team, which is a team of folks who go out on calls with the police and with EMTs to help really address mental health crisis and provide the right response to the right situation so we aren't having folks in crisis end up in jail,” she said.

Henderson said the bond issue will also help to fund several other support programs.

“Along with those programs, we've also been able to fund various shelter situations,” she said. “One of these is the emergency winter shelter, which helps provide resilience with a place to stay in the coldest months of the year. As a result of that, we haven't seen anyone die due to the elements over the last two years, which is pretty incredible in a community of our size. There’s also the Temporary Safe Outdoor Space (TSOS) which was really set up as a collaboration between the city and the county and nonprofit organizations and Hope Rescue Mission to provide folks some stability so they can get back on their feet and get a job and find housing.”

How the Levy will be Funded

Henderson said the levy will be funded through property tax dollars, specifically $27 dollars per every $100,000 of property value.

There were numerous negative comments from listeners who stated they would not be voting for the Crisis Intervention Levy.

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