Sources of MHB Funds
MHB invests in accessible, high-quality programs that are effective, efficient and lead to measurable changes for those served. Saint Louis MHB administers two Saint Louis City dedicated property taxes: The Community Children’s Services Fund and The Community Mental Health Fund.
The Community Children’s Services Fund improves the well-being of the City’s children, birth through age 18. MHB funds and supports a wide range of non-profit programs that address needs related to emotional and behavioral health, trauma and family support of St. Louis children and youth.
The Community Mental Health Fund is the original tax fund for which Saint Louis MHB was established. The goal of this fund is to make grants available to non-profit agencies that address mental health and substance use disorders of City residents.
MHB leverages these tax funds by securing other revenue through third-party, federal, and other types of operating grants that enable MHB to re-grant to local providers who implement programs in response to the needs of vulnerable populations, such as people who are homeless, those with severe emotional disturbances, refugees and other high-need groups.
MHB uses several strategies for funding services in the community:
Competitive Grant Funding
Our major funding method, in which direct service non-profits respond to a competitive two-stage request for proposals ultimately selected by the MHB Board of Trustees. Grants are committed for up to three years with one-year, renewable contracts provided the project continues to perform well.
With this strategy, other organizations select recipients and re-grant MHB funds. The selected organizations are uniquely qualified to achieve greatest impact in a service area (e.g. after-school programming or perinatal behavioral health services) because of their particular expertise and knowledge. In the investment management relationship with MHB, the organization serves as the fiscal agent of MHB funds, overseeing the selection of recipients, transmitting sub-grants, monitoring compliance and effectiveness of services, and verifying outcome achievement. Concurrently, MHB exercises oversight and accountability of the lead organization’s performance. This unique system allows MHB to extend its reach and maximize investments.
This strategy encompasses projects in which one or more funders are participating with MHB to expand or enrich the scope of services by leveraging the investments of the other partners.
These are projects that are critical to the fulfillment of MHB’s mission and fill an important service gap and/or address an emerging need in the community that may not involve other partners at this time. Special initiatives are sometimes necessary when solving a community problem requires MHB’s leadership and funding. Special initiative projects are those that are consistent with the community Needs Assessments and the state statute, but in a service area that may have recently emerged. MHB makes funding available to special initiatives one year at a time for efforts outside of the regular three-year grant cycle.
Permanent Supportive Housing
Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) plays a significant role in reducing homelessness and in turn helping people live stable, more productive lives. Since FY11, Saint Louis MHB has supported the goals of PSH through the offering of funds, usually in the form of 10-year forgiveable loans, to support the development of PSH through either renovating existing infrastructure or through construction of new sites that provide behavioral health services in conjunction with PSH.
Saint Louis MHB dedicates staff time and technical assistance in support of several cross-sector initiatives focused on improving mental health outcomes for vulnerable populations in the St. Louis region.
MHB will continue to devote staff resources and make funds available when necessary, to promote and encourage to the extent possible the most comprehensive, coordinated system of services for the City.