A virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony for Transitions, hosted by the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and Douglas County, will be at noon, Friday, Nov. 20. The event will be live streamed on the Bert Nash Center Facebook page at facebook.com/bertnashcenter.
Transitions is part of the Treatment and Recovery Campus of Douglas County. The campus will provide services and housing for individuals with serious mental illness, substance use disorders and addiction challenges. The campus is located at 1000 W. Second St., north of the Community Health Facility.
Transitions will provide a congregate-style living setting that will serve up to 12 clients for up to 12 months. These clients will attend programs designed to enhance their recovery and transition back into the community. Transitions will serve persons experiencing homelessness, severe and persistent mental illness, substance use, and extremely low or no income. The target population will be 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 aptly named,” said Bert Nash Center CEO Patrick Schmitz. "It will help clients end their episode of homelessness and increase their ability to live a self-sustained, community-based life by developing increased daily living skills, and obtaining and successfully integrating into permanent, affordable, community-based housing.”
Transitions is a two-story structure with full basement and is about 8,570 square feet. The group home will provide on-site supervision and supportive housing for those recovering from behavioral conditions and substance abuse addiction. The typical stay for the residence will vary, 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. The construction on Transitions will be completed this month and staff will utilize the month of December for training and the development of facility operational standards. The facility will begin full service in January 2021.
“We are grateful to our partners in the Behavioral Health Leadership Coalition, especially Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, for their years of hard work and dedication to this housing project,” said Douglas County Commissioner Michelle Derusseau. “The opening of Transitions will represent a significant enhancement to our system of care that promotes the safety and well-being to some of our most vulnerable community members.”
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 will be supported through Medicaid billing (fees for services rendered) and $180,000 per year committed by Douglas County.
TreanorHL is the architect for the Transitions project and Mar Lan Construction is providing construction management services.