Officials highlight CRC's value at packed open house event
It was standing room only as local dignitaries, mental health activists, community members, and Community Advocates employees leaned in to hear the speeches. All the hard work preparing the Crisis Resource Center for its grand opening was worth it, as Community Advocates CEO Joe Volk greeted the crowd at the podium.
He was followed by enthusiastic speeches from Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Milwaukee Chief of Police Edward Flynn, County Supervisor and Chairwoman of the Health and Human Needs Committee Peggy Romo West, and County Supervisor David Bowen. Milwaukee Women's Center Director Latrice Buck Hogan spoke last, encouraging attendees to take guided tours of the facility.
The officials described how the 12-bed Crisis Resource Center will provide a safe, welcoming and recovery-oriented environment for people in need of short-term stabilization and peer support.
"This building is an important step towards mental health care in Milwaukee County. In these tight budget times it was not easy to find the money for the CRC and it wasn't a popular move when I put it in my budget, but the right thing isn't always the easy thing," said County Executive Abele. "This is a great partnership between Milwaukee County, Community Advocates and the Milwaukee Police Department."
Police Chief Flynn went on to say, "Our officers don't want to arrest the mentally ill. We want to find them services, and they are so seldom available."
Officials also stressed that the Crisis Resource Center will actually save the county and its taxpayers money by preventing the need for many costly hospitalizations. "This is going to save us ten-fold," Supervisor West said.
Following the speeches, tour guides showed off the facility's welcoming bedrooms and living spaces, as well as a group meeting area decorated with a beautiful rainbow mural.
Numerous media outlets turned out to document the open house. See Fox 6 coverage here, which includes text and a video, and view the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article here.
The Crisis Resource Center expects to serve 1,200 people per year. All services are delivered in a person-centered, trauma-informed, recovery-oriented focus of care. The center will benefit from Community Advocates' array of other services - such as homeless outreach nursing, supportive housing, and benefits assistance - connecting clients to comprehensive support and resources.
For more information or to make a referral to the CRC, which is located at 2511 W. Vine Street, call (414) 342-3237.