Hardesty Family Foundation supports MHAOK’s Criminal Justice Reform program with $728,000 grant

TULSA – The Hardesty Family Foundation has awarded a $728,000 grant to Mental Health Association Oklahoma (MHAOK) in support of its comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform program

Criminal Justice Reform program initiatives include the Special Services Docket which connects case managers with individuals facing misdemeanor charges that are often related to homelessness and Street Outreach and Rapid Response to dispatch teams in real time to those in need. Also included is the Bridge Program, which works to reduce utilization of emergency response and jail time, as well as the Criminal Justice and Mental Health Training Center, which creates and delivers customized training for our community’s criminal justice stakeholders. All of these programs are key to the Association’s success.

“Mental health and substance abuse are underlying factors in so many of the problems that plague our society. It is imperative we put programs in place that remove the barriers hindering individuals’ ability to thrive, and offer wraparound services that reduce the risk of incarceration, substance use disorders and homelessness,” said Michelle Hardesty, Hardesty Family Foundation Executive Director.

This generous investment will enable the Association to continue its Bridge Program, which made significant progress in diverting individuals impacted by mental illness, substance use disorders and homelessness from justice involvement, decreasing the number of 911 calls, and connecting individuals in need to resources.

“These funds allow us to address the root causes of what brings people, particularly low-level offenders, initially into contact with the criminal justice system and employ evidence-based practices to end homelessness in our community,” said Terri White, MHAOK CEO.

White said MHAOK’s teams work tirelessly to connect vulnerable individuals to the resources they need to minimize legal involvement, increase self-sufficiency and employability, and maintain stable housing. “This critically important work would not be possible without the generosity and support of the Hardesty Family Foundation,” White added. 

ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION OKLAHOMA: MHAOK is the state’s premier boots-on-the-ground non-profit serving at the intersection of mental illness and homelessness – fighting everyday to promote mental health, prevent suicide and end homelessness.

ABOUT HARDESTY FAMILY FOUNDATION: The Hardesty Family Foundation, Inc. was established in December 2005, by F. Roger Hardesty and his wife Donna J. Hardesty to address specific needs of Oklahomans and make the future a better place for this state. It is organized as a general purpose private foundation which supports a variety of programs and projects, including, but not limited to mental health, addiction recovery, and court system changes.

If members of the media would like to learn more, contact Adi McCasland at 405-250-6331 or amccasland@mhaok.org, and she will help coordinate interviews.