City to Hire First Mental Health Coordinator

The Goodwin Administration will hire the City’s first Mental Health Coordinator with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. Charleston City Council tonight voted to amend the City of Charleston’s 2019 Annual Action plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The amendment includes an additional $892,222 in CDBG funds, made available by the CARES Act.

The Mental Health Coordinator will be part of the Mayor’s CARE Office and will be responsible for coordinating the work of a Mental Health Response Team comprised of City of Charleston staff, mental health experts, homeless shelters and social service providers. The CARE Office anticipates reaching up to 30 additional individuals or families each month to address mental health crises and additional social service needs.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in activity surrounding mental health and substance use. With the additional job loss, housing loss, economic insecurity and illness, we anticipate helping individuals that have not needed prior mental health or social services,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. “The Mental Health Coordinator will work collaboratively with services across the City to offer a rapid response and provide help. Thank you to Charleston City Council for voting for tonight’s amendment and allowing us to add this vital resource to our team.”

Additional monies will benefit social service organizations throughout Charleston.

“The additional CDBG monies that the City of Charleston received through the CARES Act will help our social services tremendously during this time when more folks are taking advantage of their services,” said Goodwin. “Thank you to Senator Joe Manchin and Senator Shelley Moore Capito for making sure that Community Development Block Grants were included in these CARES allocations.”

Other organizations that will receive CDBG funds include United Way, Manna Meal, Salvation Army, Covenant House, YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter, YWCA RFAP, Kanawha Valley Collective McCormick Hub, Pro-Kids and Step-by-Step.