The Whatcom Ground-Level Response and Coordinated Engagement (GRACE) program is a community-based effort to find solutions for individuals who are high utilizers of emergency and criminal justice systems. The aim is to offer intensive, coordinated services to these “familiar faces” whose needs span beyond any single agency.
GRACE helps improve our current system. Intensive Case Managers support service providers in working with the complex needs of GRACE members. The GRACE Team works within fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and emergency medical services, making it simple to connect clients to care.
With support, GRACE members reduce reliance on emergency systems and gain access to effective care that helps build a more stable, independent life.
GRACE serves people often dealing with multiple and complex issues and who are frequent users of EMS. This includes disabilities, medical problems, mental or behavioral health needs, substance use and unstable or no housing. Participants join GRACE through community partner referrals. Referrals come from many programs, including: paramedics, law enforcement, hospital workers, jail and social services.
The GRACE Program provides intensive case management and coordination of services for people once they become a GRACE member. GRACE Intensive Case Managers work in a team, drawing from the services provided by community partners. They develop a Community Support Plan for each GRACE member to ensure members get coordinated services and ongoing support.
Intensive Case Managers drive members to appointments, assist with intakes, and coordinate services. In addition, a mobile nurse practitioner offers medical care visits.
GRACE is a partnership funded by the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County. PeaceHealth and North Sound Accountable Communities of Health were both funders in previous years of the program. The program was operated by SeaMar Community Health Center prior to the program's transition to Whatcom County Health and Community Services.
In addition, GRACE case managers work closely with the following community partners: