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Mukilteo awarded $65,000 grant for Embedded Social Worker

MUKILTEO – The City of Mukilteo was the recipient of a $65,000 matching grant towards the funding of an Embedded Social Worker through Snohomish County’s Shelter & Behavioral Health Partnership Program.

In February, the Mukilteo City Council unanimously passed an $65,000 agreement with Compass Health to provide a 20 hour/week Embedded Social Worker through the company’s Community Transitions Program. The partnership with Compass Health provides a mental health professional to engage with individuals experiencing homelessness and/or in behavioral health crisis.

“The Mukilteo Police Department is excited to partner with Snohomish County to help fund the first two years of our Embedded Social Worker Program,” Mukilteo Police Chief Cheol Kang wrote in a statement to the Lynnwood Times. “By integrating a trained social worker with our staff, we will be more equipped to responding to individuals experiencing behavioral health and substance abuse concerns and connect them with needs-based services and support.”

The Shelter & Behavioral Health Partnership Program grant is good for two years (2022 – 2023) and matched the City’s current allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds reducing the contract coast by 50 percent for up to $65,000 over the course of two years.

“Having a dedicated case manager helps guide individuals through a complex path and allows our staff to address other emergent and priority calls for service,” Police Chief Kang explained as the value an Embedded Social Worker brings to his staff.

Compass Health first implemented the Community Transitions model in Snohomish County in 2016, through a partnership with South County Fire and expanded to a second partnership with the Lynnwood Police Department and Mountlake Terrace Police Department in 2020, both of which were sponsored by a grant from the Verdant Health Commission. The organization also recently established a new Community Transitions partnership with the City of Edmonds, which expands the program to five area communities.

“We created the Community Transitions program to provide an alternative solution for connecting individuals with behavioral health services and resources, helping to shift away from high-frequency use of emergency services and toward more appropriate, recovery-oriented pathways,” said Charissa Westergard, Director of Healthcare Integration at Compass Health, who developed Community Transitions. “This program is a key tool to meeting the needs of people facing mental health, substance use or housing challenges – and we’re looking forward to collaborating with the Mukilteo Police Department to take this step forward.”

In addition to these Community Transitions programs, Compass Health offers a range of community response services across the region. The agency’s Snohomish County Triage Center, located in Everett, enables law enforcement officers to drop off individuals who need crisis intervention and stabilization, helping to avoid alternative options such as jail or trips to the emergency department.

To learn more about Compass Health Community Transitions, please visit compasshealth.org/services/community-transitions/

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