Dozens of individuals packed into a gathering room in West St. Paul on Thursday evening to voice each assist and opposition to a proposed psychological well being facility.
The 16-bed disaster and restoration heart would offer short-term residential psychological well being therapy. Dakota County officers have proposed constructing the ability within the northeast parking zone of the Dakota County Northern Service Middle.
The middle could be operated by Guild, a St. Paul nonprofit psychological well being service supplier. The corporate presently operates a gaggle of houses in South St. Paul that might collapse into the brand new facility.
Julie Bluhm, the CEO of Guild, mentioned the psychological well being providers system in Minnesota is in determined want of therapy choices.
“Our system is so overwhelmed proper now that each one of those providers take a really very long time to entry,” she mentioned. “My employees have instructed me that they flip down nearly 250 individuals who qualify for the providers, however we simply don’t have room.“
However not everyone seems to be satisfied these beds belong in West St. Paul.
Mark Drake, who lives within the neighborhood close to the proposed web site, mentioned a lot of his neighbors only recently discovered in regards to the undertaking.
“We had been initially not given any discover that the ability was to be constructed within the parking zone of the federal government heart,” mentioned Drake, who says his house is roughly 383 ft from the proposed disaster heart.
Drake mentioned in latest weeks, he’s raised considerations over the security within the neighborhood and the way that might change when the ability opens.
“It is a 24/7 drop-in facility,” Drake mentioned. “We all know there’s not safety, we all know that cameras aren’t going to be a part of it.”
At Thursday’s assembly, residents questioned what course of county and Guild officers use to display purchasers and if that features a verify for lively warrants or different vital legal historical past.
Bluhm acknowledged the people they serve with extreme psychological well being points from quite a lot of backgrounds.
“The fact is that the folks which might be coming to our facility are there as a result of they wish to be there,” she mentioned. “They’re not being positioned there as a result of they’ve dedicated a criminal offense or as a result of they’re not secure to be in that neighborhood.”
West St. Paul’s metropolis council is anticipated to vote on the proposal later this month. Last approval would come from the Dakota County Board of Commissioners.