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MPACT Receives $200,000 Grant

Earlier this year, YSS of Marshall County partnered with the Marshalltown Police Department to launch a community outreach program called MPACT (Marshalltown Police and Community Team). The program has been so successful, it received national attention and was recently awarded a $206,000 grant from the Department of Justice. 

MPACT, which was brought to life by Chief of Police Michael Tupper and YSS of Marshall County Director David Hicks, works to heal community wounds through the cooperation of mental health professionals and the local police department. This gives the opportunity for individuals to call the police in times of mental health crises and receive the proper care they need: immediate professional help from both the authorities and counselors.  

“We offer services that are in direct response to the situations that police encounter every day. We provide mental health therapy, in-home skills-based counseling, assessments and support for the homeless, Spanish-speaking counseling for families involved with juvenile court, case management, and resources for low income families, among others,” Hicks said.  

Whenever an individual has a dire mental health crisis, they can call the police to receive specialized care from YSS social workers. According to Hicks, since the program started nine months ago, they have responded to over 300 calls and assisted 450 people. Nearly one-third of the calls were related to mental health; the rest dealt with homelessness, family conflict, substance usage, and juvenile issues. 

Laurie, a 58-year-old woman, said, “MPACT has been there for me when no one else was. They listened to me.” 

The program is run on donations from the community, as well as other outside programs and individuals in support of this new system. Just recently, MPACT received a $206,000 federal grant from the Department of Justice to help fund the program for the next two years. 

Along with the Department of Justice grant, the MPACT program also previously received $150,000 from the Marshalltown City Council to kick-start the program, as well as $80,000 to keep it running.  

The MPACT program has also seen tremendous support from the community. “We’ve had people walk in with donations from $10 all the way to $1,000 to support MPACT. We know the city, law enforcement community, and our legislative leaders believe in MPACT,” Hicks said.  

When asked about the future of MPACT, Hicks was hopeful to see other police departments follow in their footsteps.  

“People are looking at MPACT as one to watch,” Hicks said. “I anticipate similar programs like ours being developed across Iowa, and the nation, in 2022.” 

In a recent survey of the Marshalltown Police Department, nearly 80% felt MPACT helped to prevent an escalating situation from becoming worse, while 87% said MPACT saved the officers time and resources. Overall, 95% of the officers reported seeing a benefit of continuing the partnership with YSS and MPACT.  

“MPACT has been the most satisfying project I’ve been involved with in my 25-year career at YSS,” Hicks added. 

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