The process is extremely competitive, and proposals go through a review process by both citizen committees and county staff, according to a news release.
The assistance fund dates back to 1877, when county commissions were directed by the Territory of Montana to use taxes for a special fund to the poor. In 2008, Missoula County voted to approve the Substance Abuse Prevention Mill Levy to support preventative programs in the county.
Aging Services, the Missoula Food Bank, the Human Resource Council, Mountain Home Montana and the Salvation Army are some of the organizations that have received assistance fund grant money in the past.
“Managing the Community Assistance Fund on behalf of Missoula County is one of the highlights of my position,” Nancy Rittel, a grants administrator for the county, said in a release. “Seeing how such a broad array of nonprofit organizations are able to provide vital, basic human needs to babies, children, teenage youth, the elderly and disabled because of the county’s assistance is extremely gratifying.”
The mill levy provides $368,920 each year to “help grow healthy youth and families and reduce the negative consequences and high costs of substance abuse,” the release said.
Applicants must show how they use effective strategies based on several parameters, including preventative efforts, community education, and early intervention efforts.