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City Council Funds School-Based Mental Health Counselors Through 2020

May 1, 2019 - At the April 30 Council Meeting, the City Council reviewed the history and structure of the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Department and the current funding resources for the YFS Fund.  Council directed staff to use one-time YFS Fund savings to restore the two elementary school mental health counselors eliminated in the 2019-2020 biennial budget.
As the City closed its books for the 2018 fiscal year, the YFS Fund ended the year with one-time budgetary savings mostly from multiple, months-long vacant YFS positions and increased Thrift Shop revenues. The one-time savings of $170,000 will be used to fund the two elementary school mental health counselors and YFS administrative assistant through 2020.
The MIYFS Foundation, a nonprofit committed to supporting the programs and services of the MIYFS Department, and the Mercer Island Schools Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to supporting student achievement, made a generous offer to provide temporary funding to restore one Elementary School Counselor for the 2019-2020 academic school year. While the City Council is grateful for this offer, they declined the funding in light of the budget and salary savings from 2018.
Mercer Island Youth and Family Services provides emergency family assistance, food-bank services, school-based mental health counseling, senior services, and youth programs including drug and alcohol prevention, diversion and early intervention, and volunteer learning opportunities to the Mercer Island community.



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