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Initiative for Effective Nonprofits Grants Available

Grant application are now open for local nonprofits wishing to strengthen their governance and management so that they will be more effective in delivering services. Organizations that are managed well are better able to develop, implement and sustain effective services to meet community needs.

The Initiative for Effective Nonprofits is a collaborative effort of community organizations, foundations and individuals to strengthen nonprofit organizations that provide services to residents of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District which includes the City of Charlottesville and the Counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson.

Below is a guest post from one of the local nonprofits that received the grant and used it to strengthen a local coalition.

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The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a well-documented and successful model of improving police interactions with people experiencing acute episodes of mental illness. The training is designed to educate and prepare police officers who come into contact with people in crisis, to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and to respond effectively and appropriately to the individual. Because police officers are often the first responders in these incidents, it is essential that they understand how mental illnesses can alter people’s behaviors and perceptions.

The trained CIT Officer is skilledat recognizing and de-escalating crises involving people with acute episodes of mental illness, while bringing an element of understanding and compassion to these difficult situations. The goal of the CIT program is to reduce unnecessary restraint and incarceration of people with mental illness and to provide individuals with appropriate treatment in the community.

The Charlottesville CIT project began in 2005 with the support of an Initiative for Effective Nonprofits Grant from the United Way. The first 12 months were spent building consensus in the Charlottesville community to decide whether or not to bring a Crisis Intervention Team to the area. With overwhelming support within the community, we began the implementation phase of the project with a grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in 2006.

Guest post by Tom von Hemert, OAR/Jefferson Area Corrections

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