2021 Mental Health and Human Services Ballot Measure
This fall, Lafayette voters will be asked to approve or reject two ballot measures. One to increase funding for Lafayette’s public safety, and one to increase funding for mental health and human service needs.
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Why a Mental Health and Human Services Ballot Measure is Being Put Before Voters
Individual mental health and human services welfare is a growing concern across the nation and in Lafayette. Supporting the availability of these services for Lafayette residents through contracts with community non-profit providers would provide a level of increased support for individuals, families, and children in Lafayette.
Lafayette doesn’t staff a department to help with human services. Through this ballot measure, it seeks to partner with trusted Boulder County nonprofits to implement “safety net” service delivery objectives, like mental health, medical care, support for domestic violence victims, and help for families and individuals in crisis to cover rent, find childcare, pay utilities, or get emergency access to food.
Local human service agencies have pointed out that unprecedented caseload growth and service demands, coupled with reduced financial support from county, state, and federal governments, continue to place significant strains on the ability of community-based human services safety net providers to effectively meet Lafayette residents’ needs within available resources.
Recent local and national events have created added economic and mental strain on the City’s most vulnerable populations. Boulder County’s cost of living is one of the highest in the state. Costs for housing, groceries and other everyday items have increased. The monthly cost of living in Boulder County is $6,238, but the monthly income for a family of four living below the poverty line is only $2,089. According to a recent poll by Hunger Free Colorado, more than 37% of Coloradans are struggling to afford food, up from 9% the previous year. Funding for safety net items is more critical than ever.
The mental health and human services initiative will ask voters whether to add 0.10%, or 1.0 cents on a $10 purchase, to help fund these services through Boulder County nonprofit partners.
Lafayette’s current sales and use tax rate is 3.5%, making it the fourth lowest out of 11 nearby communities.