The city of Minneapolis has agreed to a contract with a mental health group that has only existed for one year, according to screenshots obtained from city websites. This group, Canopy Mental Health & Consulting, will be assisting with the city’s plan to replace and restructure the police. They are contracted to pay the group $6 million to provide 24/7 mental health services in “crisis response teams” for the next two years. According to WCCO, there is an option to extend the services for a third year if the cost does not exceed $3 million.
Canopy Mental Health & Consulting has been in business since July 2020, according to their Facebook account. According to city records, the company only just reinstated their assumed name in April.
The description reads that they are, “a premier provider of culturally competent therapeutic services for historically under-supported populations in the Twin Cities.” According to the website for Canopy Mental Health & Consulting, they do not have any medical doctors on staff. Other Facebook posts from the business indicate support for Black Lives Matter and a focus on providing mental health services to minorities.
The Minneapolis City Council voted 13-0 to cover the cost for the mental health group. According to the contract, the group will “provide professional services to operate 24/7 Mobile Behavioral Health Crisis Response Team.” This is allegedly part of the effort to replace the Minneapolis police.
The Minneapolis Police Department has been criticized since the death of George Floyd in May 2020, while being arrested by former police officer Derek Chauvin. As was reported on The Minnesota Sun, a recent audit of the department showed some areas in need of improvement. The city of Minneapolis is also set to vote on a measure that would work towards entirely replacing the police department with a new Department of Public Safety.
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Star News Network. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected].