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Posted on: August 8, 2023

Mayor Gradisar Invited to Attend CARE Act Implementation and Key Behavioral Health Meetings

PUEBLO—Mayor of Pueblo Nick Gradisar has been invited to attend a trip with the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) for a quarterly meeting of the Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act in Sacramento, California. The focus of the trip Aug. 8-10 is to take a studied approach to support individuals experiencing homelessness with serious mental illness through a collaboration between Colorado’s behavioral health and judicial systems.

Mayor Gradisar was invited due to the City of Pueblo’s continued and close work with CDHS and the Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Pueblo (CMHHIP) to address mental health related issues locally and better serve Puebloans for mental, behavioral health and homeless needs.

“These meetings with California officials are an opportunity to see how other communities are addressing the intersection of mental health and homelessness,” said Mayor of Pueblo Nick Gradisar. “I have said many times before how important it is to get to the root cause of how to help individuals experiencing homelessness and we know that mental and behavioral health are an integral part of serving this population.”

During the visit, Mayor Gradisar will accompany leaders from across the state including the Director of the Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health with CDHS Leora Joseph. Other members of CDHS, the Colorado Governor’s Office, two state legislators, a member of the City and County of Denver Mayor’s Office, Denver City Attorneys and Consent Decree Special Masters. The meetings include discussions led by key state and local governments agencies in California, law enforcement officials, members of the judicial branch and advocacy groups.

“Reducing homelessness will require collaboration with all of our partners especially as it relates to mental health disorders which is the most common condition experienced by the homeless in Pueblo,” said Gradisar. “I look forward to bringing back new ideas and proven research for intervention, services and overall health in our community.”

CARE Court was signed by Governor of California Gavin Newsom in September of 2022 from California Senate Bill 1228 by Senator Thomas Umberg and Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman to assist individuals suffering from untreated schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. This is supported with California state funding of $15.3 billion to address homelessness and $11.6 billion for behavioral health intervention, mental health programs and assistance in the human services workforce.

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