Douglas County, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority had a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 8, 2019, for the Treatment and Recovery Campus of Douglas County. The campus is located north of the Community Health Facility at 1000 W. Second Street. The campus will provide services and housing for individuals with serious mental illness, substance use disorders and addiction challenges.
The three buildings that are located on the campus are the Treatment & Recovery Center (TRC), Transitions, and The Cottages at Green Lake. These projects are being funded through a variety of resources including the quarter-cent sales tax that was approved by voters in November 2018 to improve behavioral health services and facilities in Douglas County.
To view a time lapse of construction on the housing projects: https://app.truelook.com/?m=15783008820750585339112
To view a time lapse of construction on the Treatment & Recovery Center: https://app.truelook.com/?m=16076768714852917195012
Drone footage of the campus that was taken Dec. 8, 2020: https://youtu.be/3ig2pqPe8Dg
Treatment & Recovery Center (TRC)
The Treatment & Recovery Center will serve adults and children with serious mental illness, substance use disorders and addiction issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The approximately 20,000-square-foot center will provide medical care and behavioral health treatment services through an access center, 23-hour observation unit, and stabilization unit.
- Access center. This is where anyone can walk through the front door and receive assistance. They will get an initial assessment and then be triaged for treatment and further evaluation. The access center will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and then eight hours on weekends.
- 23-hour observation unit. This is where behavioral health professionals will attempt to calm and stabilize patients while also working on a treatment and recovery plan.
- Stabilization unit. This is where patients will be able to recover for a couple of days while receiving a treatment and recovery plan.
Staff will include: mental health professionals, peer support specialists, behavioral health technicians, licensed addiction staff, case managers and psychiatric professionals.
Behavioral Health Partners, Inc., a nonprofit partnership between LMH Health and Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, provides leadership, clinical oversight and operational management of the crisis recovery center. Behavioral Health Partners, Inc. is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors. LMH Health, Bert Nash and the Board of Douglas County Commissioners each appoint three members to the board who may serve three-year terms. Current board members are: Cindy Yulich, chair, Nancy Thellman, vice chair, Sarah Plinsky, treasurer, Janette Kirkpatrick, secretary, Ashley Bloom, Kevin Harrell, Jason Hess, Patrick Schmitz and Bruce Wohlers. For meeting information, visit: https://www.lmh.org/about-us/behavioral-health-partners.
The estimated cost of the project is $10.4 million and it will be funded through a variety of resources including the quarter-cent sales tax that was approved by voters in November 2018 to improve behavioral health services and facilities in Douglas County.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Oct. 23, and construction is expected to be completed by February 2022.
Transitions provides a congregate-style living setting that serves up to 12 clients for up to 12 months. These clients attend programs designed to enhance their recovery and transition back into the community. Transitions serves persons experiencing homelessness, severe and persistent mental illness, substance use, and extremely low or no income. The target population is individuals who are experiencing a high risk for mortality and chronic disease, chronic or cyclical homelessness, considerable barriers to obtaining resources and services, and as engaging in extremely high utilization of crisis, emergency, jail and inpatient services.
Transitions is a two-story structure with full basement and is about 8,570 square feet. The group home provides on-site supervision and supportive housing for those recovering from behavioral conditions and substance abuse addiction. The typical stay for the residence varies, depending on each resident’s needs. Included in the facility are four double occupancy sleeping rooms and four single occupancy sleeping rooms. The building has a living area, kitchen, dining room, laundry area, and administrative offices to support operations. In the administrative area, there are two additional crisis observation rooms that will serve as such until the recovery crisis center opens.
Funding for Transitions has been supported by $495,000 from the City of Lawrence’s Affordable Housing Trust/Affordable Housing Advisory Board, $400,000 from the Sunderland Foundation, $400,000 from Douglas County, $300,000 from Bert Nash Endowment, and $650,000 in property value from the Bert Nash Center donating the property for the Sandra Shaw Park. Operations are supported through Medicaid billing (fees for services rendered) and $180,000 per year committed by Douglas County.
The Cottages at Green Lake, 930 W. Second St., provides permanent supportive housing for individuals with serious persistent mental illness. Supportive housing is a combination of affordable housing and supportive services designed to help vulnerable individuals and families use stable housing as a platform for health and recovery.
There are 10 separate cottages that have been specifically designed to maximize functional abilities and minimize the barriers through good design and appropriate supports. All of the units are designed to comply with federal American with Disabilities Act guidelines, and three of them are designed as fully accessible for those who might be wheelchair bound. The Cottages have solar integration on the roof to offset electrical costs and an interior accessible green space. The units are located within three buildings. Building A is 2,085 square feet, Building B is 2,046 square feet, and Building C is 2,779 square feet.
Each tenant pays 30% of their income as rent and the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority will provide the remaining cost through a voucher funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Tenants have the opportunity to participate in services and programs offered by agencies in the Behavioral Health Leadership Coalition. These agencies include: DCCCA, Bert Nash Center, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, Heartland Community Health Center, Heartland Regional Alcohol & Drug Assessment Center (RADAC), LMH Health and Douglas County. The Housing Authority also provides programs that support social inclusion, development of life skills and recreation.
The Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority’s goals for The Cottages are to:
- Provide a safe environment
- Provide a range of support through partnerships
- Promote social inclusion
- Develop life skills
- Support residents in maintenance of their tenancies
A groundbreaking ceremony was held in November 2019, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Nov. 6, 2020. The first tenant moved into The Cottages in the first quarter of 2021.
The cost of the housing project is $1.9 million and it is being funded through Housing Authority reserves and a grant from the National Housing Trust Funds.