Lawrenceville awarded $5 million grant to support youth, families

Lawrenceville accepted a $5 million federal grant on Monday aimed toward bettering the mental health of residents. (Courtesy City of Lawrenceville)

Combined ShapeCaption
Lawrenceville accepted a $5 million federal grant on Monday aimed toward bettering the mental health of residents. (Courtesy City of Lawrenceville)

Lawrenceville plans to use a $5 million federal grant to connect families to mental health resources, strengthen a program that sends clinicians out on police calls and create programs to engage and support youth.

City Council unanimously accepted the five-year grant from a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during a Monday meeting. The city will use the funds by partnering with local organizations, including Impact46, Georgia Center for Opportunity and Families First.

High-level plans for the grant money include expanding a summer internship program and the co-responder program between Lawrenceville Police Department and ViewPoint Health. The city also plans to launch a City Youth Council at public schools and form an internal diversity committee to increase community engagement of city employees.

“The City of Lawrenceville is extremely honored to be named a 2021 ReCAST grant recipient,” said Mayor David Still in a news release. “A team of talented community partners came together to create an impressive proposal and will now work collaboratively toward the betterment of our community using a multimodal approach.”

Officials hope to eventually serve 1,700 high-risk youth in Lawrenceville by the fifth year of the grant. They immediately want to refer 400 families to community partners for direct assistance and reach 1,500 families by year five.

Lawrenceville is the smallest of nine U.S. cities to receive the grant. Other cities include Philadelphia, Milwaukee and San Antonio.

The grant will expand upon programs already initiated by the city, said City Manager Chuck Warbington in the release. “The ($5 million) in federal funding and the potential for a renewal in the sixth year can have exponential impact and improve the quality of life for nearly all of Lawrenceville’s more than 30,000 residents,” he said.

The zero-match grant takes effect in October. The city plans to make appointments to an advisory board for the grant in November, complete a community needs assessment in December and release an in-depth plan for the funds by March 2022.