With much debate, city councilors votes to support a crisis service levy as federal funds dry up

David Erickson

A federal faucet of money that’s helped Missoula tackle issues like homelessness, addiction and mental health struggles won’t keep flowing forever, so now local government officials and health care leaders seek a local taxpayer-funded levy to keep those programs going after the checks stop coming. 

On Wednesday, Missoula City Council members heard a presentation from a coalition of local residents requesting the council’s support to place a crisis services levy on the November ballot.

“Coalition members recognize that local government has an increased role in providing services to support people experiencing mental health, addiction, or housing crisis, and to facilitate criminal justice reforms,” wrote Jessica Miller, the city’s citizen services manager, in a memo to the council. “Federal American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds allowed the City of Missoula and Missoula County to implement new programs and expand on existing ones to respond to people in crisis. After fiscal year 2023, ARPA funds will no longer be available. Missoula local government needs a dedicated funding source to continue support for our neighbors in crisis.”

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