The Alaska Mental Health Trust was established by the State to channel revenues earned from lands deeded to the State by the federal government expressly for the benefit of Alaskans who experience mental illness. The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority funds each year the Coordinated/Non-coordinated Transportation Program for the benefit of all the beneficiaries identified by the Trust Board of Directors, which includes those with mental illness, developmental disabilities, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, chronic alcoholism, and traumatic brain injury. The Alaska Legislature at times also adds to the funds a contribution from the State’s general funds through the capital budget.
This program is for start-up operating and capital funds to plan for and coordinate mobility and human services transportation systems in local communities by pooling available resources, i.e. coordinated transportation. Other options may include developing taxi voucher programs, taxi accessibility projects, convertible ambulances, boats, snowmobile carts. Uncoordinated mobility services and transportation systems are not cost-effective and create additional barriers for Trust beneficiaries (i.e. eligibility restrictions or limited hours of services).
This program is also for funds to purchase or replace accessible vehicles owned by consumer-run and other provider non-profit corporations for non-coordinated uses where coordination is not feasible. These uses could be to transport Trust beneficiaries to services, community activities or work. These vehicles are also used to transport staff to consumer homes, and other beneficiary-related transportation. Only a few Alaskan communities have public transportation and where it does exist, it is limited. Although providers work to develop and maintain coordinated transportation systems, these systems do not always meet the needs of Trust beneficiaries.
Non-profit and governmental organizations who serve the Alaska Mental Health Trust Beneficiaries
Projects selected for funding must be included in a locally developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan.