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ROCKFORD — The Winnebago County Community Mental Health Board is accepting proposals to provide $70 million in funding for mental health and substance use programs over the next three years.

The board, which is funded by a half-cent sales tax voters approved in March 2020, will allocate $60 million for its core programs and $10 million for capital projects. The sales tax generates roughly $18 million per year.

The core program funding is both for organizations seeking renewal of existing funding and for new proposals. The $10 million in capital projects, called Accelerator Awards, are designed to extend services to underserved communities in Winnebago County and to bolster training and workforce development.

“Over the past three years we have learned that one of the biggest barriers for our grant programs is hiring qualified staff, so we knew we had to take a different approach this year, adding in our Accelerator Awards to address workforce and other system capacity challenges,” Board President Mary Ann Abate said in a news release. “We feel confident that with more qualified providers and more service locations we will see the reduction of wait times for mental health services throughout Winnebago County.”

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Organizations interested in learning about funding can visit to view the notice of funding opportunity. Additional information will be posted to the website throughout the grant application period, such as registration for grant seekers meetings and question-and-answer summaries.

Applications for renewed funding are due Feb. 7, and the new application deadline is Feb. 28.

Questions can be directed to

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