COMBAT funding for the 2023 year

Aniaya Reed
Editorial Assistant


COMBAT (Community Backed Anti Crime Tax) is now accepting applications for 2023 funding in four separate categories: Prevention (Violence and Drug abuse), Substance Use Disorder Treatment, Law Enforcement School-Based Initiatives, and STRIVIN’ (Striving Together to Reduce Violence in Neighborhoods).


The application window opens Thursday, August 4th, 2022 and will close at 3:00pm Friday, September 2nd, 2022. Visit this website to apply: https://www.jacksoncountycombat.com/571/2023-Funding-Applications.


Jackson County’s COMBAT seeks to provide prevention programs that deliver benefits for Jackson County residents. Vincent Ortega, Director of COMBAT encourages non-profit organizations to consider applying. COMBAT receives updates and data from agencies they fund, for example, the Mattie Rhodes Center.


“We get all the violent crime data from the twelve different agencies. That is where we focus our resources. We are ensuring any resources they need, and we confirm that we have them. Our goal is to reduce the violent crime and drug abuse in that area,” said Ortega.


COMBAT, which stands for Community Backed Anti-drug Tax, was first approved by voters in 1989 at the rate of 0.25% for 7 years. County residents voted to renew the tax in 1996, 2003 and most recently, 2009. COMBAT’s funding is distributed through an allocation formula approved by the Jackson County legislature.


“We are a funding agency. Our funding is based on Jackson County sales tax. Half of that funding goes to our law enforcement and criminal justice system. We also fund the courts, family court, circuit court, etc. The other half of the funding goes to prevention and treatment agencies,” said Ortega.


NEAT (Northeast Alliance Together) Director, Scott Wagner, works for the Mattie Rhodes Center which was partially funded last year by COMBAT, and is seeking funding again for the upcoming year.


“We usually get funded through COMBAT to support two areas: One is our Community Resource Team that works on violence prevention for youth. The other area is support for our Addiction Specialist work,” said Wagner.


COMBAT wants to give non-profit organizations the opportunity to apply for the 2023 funding year. It is a great way to publicize a non-profit, because then residents are able to access these benefits.


“We work with my accountant and that accountant works with the county accountant, and they look at the revenues. We get a gauge of how much we’re able to put out into the community. Any 501 (c) 3 organizations looking for funding is what we are seeking to host prevention and treatment agencies. We want to get the word out there so these organizations and programs know of the funding,” said Ortega.


STRIVIN’ is COMBAT’s initiative to unite schools, law enforcement, and community members to address violence in high crime/violence neighborhoods.


“We collaborate with Mattie Rhodes which is a STRIVIN’ resource hub. If Mattie Rhodes needs mentoring, behavioral health attention, or utility assistance we have other partners that do that, who can give assistance. When we fund the money we monitor to ensure that the programs are fulfilling the obligations they filled, and we require them to write a monthly report. Besides funding there is a lot of monitoring onsite visits as well as our program manager who requires the monthly reports to evaluate the programs, so that they are in compliance,” said Ortega.

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