ST. CHARLES – Government agencies will now be able to apply for funding from the St. Charles 708 Community Mental Health Board.
During the Dec. 16 St. Charles City Council meeting, aldermen voted 5-3 for a change in the board's policy that will allow government agencies to be considered for funding along with other nonprofit agencies and that the government applicant may receive 708 Mental Health funding. The Community 708 Mental Health Board reviews requests for funding and makes recommendations to distribute funds collected from the Mental Health tax.
The mission of the St. Charles 708 Mental Health Board is to service residents of St. Charles by supporting and funding local, community-based, high-quality programs and services for citizens with mental health needs, substance abuse needs and developmental disabilities.
708 funds come from property tax dollars. Applicants for the funds are required to describe the projected number of St. Charles residents to be served in their programs.
The Mental Health Board is now accepting funding requests for the 2020-2021 funding period. Applications, which are due Jan. 15, are available at stcharlesil.gov/documents/st-charles-708-mental-health-board-application-2020-2021.
The board will consider requests for funding for fiscal year 2020-2021 at its annual meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 27 in the City Council Chambers at 2 E. Main St.
As 708 Mental Health Board Chairwoman Carolyn Waibel told aldermen, the board has had a practice of not distributing funding to government agencies.
"This year, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and St. Charles Police Department have respectively expressed interests to submit applications requesting funding for mental health related initiatives," Waibel said. "What we want to do is make a specific policy. Since we serve at your pleasure, we need you the City Council to put that policy in place."
Fifth Ward Alderman Maureen Lewis was one of three aldermen who voted against the change in policy.
"There aren't many 708 boards this county," Lewis said. "This money that is collected is only the tax dollars of St. Charles residents. And I do have a concern that the other communities that do not have this means of taking care of their citizens might start requesting [the funds]. I think it might need to be thought out more."