Des Moines County is trying to provide additional services for people with mental health or other developmental disabilities.
CPC Administrator Ken Hyndman says there is not always a bed available at local hospitals when someone is having a mental health “crisis.”
"A lot of times, their beds are filled, so we end up sending people all over the state looking for an open hospital bed."
Hyndman wants to transform a six-unit apartment building in Burlington into a crisis-stabilization center to help avoid that.
“People could voluntarily go into this program and receive some services and deal with their crisis, have some staff help them, and go back into the community.”
Hyndman says few people were utilizing the building, which is near his office, thus the change in use.
The Board of Supervisors has hired Hope Haven, which is based in Burlington, to staff the center.
Hyndman says the two month contract gives Hope Haven the go-ahead to hire and train staff. He says there would be two people working onsite once the facility is up and running.
Hyndman says the facility will eventually be available to Southeast Iowa Link, which is the regional organization that will oversee mental health care services in southeast Iowa after July 1.
He says a similar service is being developed in Jefferson County.
The initial cost of $85,000 will be shared by Des Moines and Henry Counties.