County of Santa Cruz has announced more than $5.6 million in funding for health and safety programs through the California Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC).
The three grants were awarded to the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office and Santa Cruz County Probation Department, and are aimed at reducing youth cannabis use, increasing school safety and achievement, and delivering services to vulnerable populations.
The grants are part of numerous awards made from funding available through Proposition 64, the Office of Justice Programs (Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants) and funding allocated to select counties to improve services to those lacking transportation access.
“Over the last year, our county has been extraordinarily successful securing grant funding on behalf of the community, including Project Homekey funding to build homes for the unhoused, grants for new behavioral health and crisis stabilization facilities, funding to build the Rail Trail, and federal funding to rebuild the Pajaro River levee system,” said County Administrative Officer Carlos Palacios. “These new awards build on that record of success. I’m grateful to the staff who worked hard to secure these funds and increase services to the community.”
The grants include:
- $3 million to the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency to prevent and divert youth from cannabis use. This grant will sustain current programming to support middle and high-school-aged youth through school and community-based strategies to promote healthy behaviors and supportive systems and environments, including leadership development, job readiness, and education, decision-making and resiliency skills and more.
- $2.1 million for a multi-agency Comprehensive School Safety Program led by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, including two school resource officers, an assistant division director in the Probation Department, a County Office of Education Director of School Safety and specialists at the Community Action Board to initiate, coordinate, and expand several evidence-based programs aimed at reducing juvenile delinquency, increasing school credit accruals, reducing on-campus bullying and harassment, and improving collaboration between school districts and law enforcement.
- $423,475 to the Santa Cruz County Probation Department to establish the Santa Cruz County Mobile Success Center (MSC) to assist unhoused individuals struggling to meet their probation terms. The MSC will serve approximately 300 individuals where they reside by providing access to legal services as well as housing, health and other resources to assist them in meeting the terms of their probation.
The BSCC provides services to the county adult and juvenile systems through inspections of county jails and juvenile detention facilities, technical assistance on local issues, promulgation of regulations, training standards for local correctional staff, and the administration of a wide range of public safety, re-entry, violence reduction and rehabilitative grants to state and local governments and community-based organizations.