MDHHS Director Hertel Discusses How Budget Supplemental Funding Signed by Gov. Whitmer Will Address Community Violence

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Elizabeth Hertel today highlighted how funding recently approved by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will help communities address violence.

Hertel met with local leaders from around Michigan who are making their communities safer to learn about what approaches work for them.

Gov. Whitmer approved $10.8 million in Community Violence Intervention Program funding in a supplemental fiscal year 2023 budget bill she recently signed.

“Keeping Michigan communities safe is one of my top priorities,” Gov. Whitmer said. “That’s why I am gladly supporting funding for evidence-based solutions to tackle the root causes of violence along with commonsense gun safety legislation – universal background checks, safe storage and extreme risk protection orders.” 

The funding is to develop a statewide Community Violence Intervention Program, with MDHHS awarding dollars to local programs.

“All Michigan residents should feel safe in their homes, schools and communities,” Hertel said. “We must listen to our community leaders about what works in preventing violence and reducing its adverse outcomes in our local communities. We also must provide them with the support they need to continue to make a difference. Gun violence and other types of violence are a threat to public health, but we can work together on prevention and assisting people who are affected.”

Included in the supplemental spending bill is:

  • $8 million for community grants to support already existing statewide programs. This will improve outcomes and strengthen work currently being done by private community organizations.
  • $2 million to support initiatives to address injuries and fatalities related to misuse of guns. This includes distributing trigger locks and gun safety boxes to households where children are present, education and outreach materials and services on suicide prevention and other gun violence prevention programs that have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing firearm deaths and injuries.
  • $800,000 to create the Office of Community Violence Intervention Services to support coordinated community violence prevention efforts and provide annual grants to community violence prevention partners.