By ABBY SOUZA
Thanks to a $300,000 rerouting of county funds, Kings View Tuolumne County Behavioral Health can continue providing mental health services for the next five and a half months.
The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to give Kings View the money from three different county accounts. The county has a contract with Kings View to provide mental health outpatient and managed-care services.
"It seems to be the best effort we can make," District 4 Supervisor Mark Thornton said.
Because of cuts to mental health funding in the state's budget, Kings View laid off 42 employees early last week, leaving 57 people to run the substance abuse and mental health services. The $300,000 will allow employees to continue their work in Kings View's Mono Way and Cabezut Road offices, the David Lambert Community Drop-in Center and the Cabrini House board and care home, all of which will remain open. The Shepherd Street office, which has been closed since November, will remain closed.
Several drop-in center clients, plus current and former Kings View employees came to the meeting Tuesday to show their support of the mental health program.
Although the $300,000 is expected to keep Kings View operational until July, County Administrative Officer C. Brent Wallace told the board the county's mental health issues like program changes and additional funding may return to the board before then.
"I don't want to give the impression that this is a once-and-for-all done deal," Wallace said.
In a letter to the board, Wallace said it is probable Kings View will begin to increase staffing again in July the beginning of fiscal year 2003-2004.