MANHATTAN (PIX11) — The Manhattan District Attorney’s office, through grants, will work with community organizations that focus on mental health to help get mentally ill individuals off the streets. In addition, the initiative attempts to connect people with the housing assistance and mental health and substance use disorder treatment they need.

District Attorney Alvin Bragg is focusing on two major things. First, focusing on neighborhoods such as Washington Heights, Inwood, Chinatown, the Lower East Side, Central and East Harlem, Hells Kitchen, Midtown and Chelsea. Secondly, DA Bragg wants this program to help with criminal court arraignment.

The goal is to interrupt persistent recidivism and improve public safety.

“Neighborhood Navigators” will receive up to $6 million in grant money. Professionally trained individuals will work directly with unhoused individuals who may have mental health challenges or substance issues and connect them with services.

These navigators are not part of the criminal justice system but are social service experts. The key is to build lasting relationships to connect people with food, clothes, medical supplies and other services.

“Court-Based Navigators” will receive up to $3 million for professionally trained individuals serving a high-needs population in all criminal court arraignments.

Bids from CBOs must be in by January and moving people off the street will start in March.

Funding is through the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative, created with millions of dollars seized from major banks during criminal investigations.