Initiative to provide mental health support and break the cycle of homelessness and incarceration.
At any given time, around 1,600 people are incarcerated at the Hamilton County Jail -- and 40% of them have some form of mental illness. The cycle of mental illness, arrest, and homelessness has a devastating impact on the people it ensnares, and it also comes at a high price for the community.
In 2020 the cost to incarcerate people at the Hamilton County jail was over $100,000 per day. Today, that number has decreased by around 20% - thanks to some innovative solutions, including a program to treat mental illness for non-violent individuals that frequently find themselves, due to homelessness or other issues, locked in jail rather than in a treatment facility. This downward trend in the number of people with mental health challenges incarcerated in the county jail not only helps the people receiving treatment it also saves taxpayers money.
Hamilton County, along with partners from the philanthropic community, service providers, and others,
Breaking the cycle of mental illness, homelessness, and jail is a moral imperative for our community - it also saves money for the community.
Below you will find resources to learn more about the program, hear from participants and experts, and get the latest status updates.
Hamilton County Commissioner David Sharpe, a strong supporter of the project, shared the following comments upon the groundbreaking for the new facility:
"I am proud to support the FUSE Program. Breaking the cycle of mental illness, homelessness, and incarceration is the smart thing to do--and the right thing to do. Helping non-violent people receive treatment gives them a better chance to stay healthy and hold down a job. This is a positive outcome for their families and the entire community." - Commissioner David Sharpe
Hamilton County Awarded $3.39 Million for FUSE Project (News Channel 9)
"What is FUSE" - Watch a short video about the FUSE program featuring Janna Jahn, the FUSE Program Manager and Sam Wolfe, a Homeless Program Coordinator with the City of Chattanooga
Justice and Mental Health Initiative information from the HCSO.