Commissioners Agree to Fund Adult Crisis Unit

December 1st, 2008

More than 60 people including clients, mental health advocates, board members and David Lawrence Center supporters attended the Board of County Commissioners Meeting on November 18th. The standing room only crowd was there to show their support of the Center’s request for additional funding for the Adult Crisis Stabilization Unit.

In the summer, the Center originally requested $300,000 to replace funding that was cut from the State budget, but was told they would have to wait to see if surplus tax dollars known as “turn back dollars” were available at the end of the County’s fiscal year. Since that time – due to the economy and State budget problems – the Center faced an additional $1 million in State, County and Medicaid reductions. At the meeting, David Lawrence Center CEO David Schimmel explained to Commissioners the hardship that these cuts had placed on their ability to fulfill its mission. He added, “The State is clearly not going to step up. This is a local problem and we need to solve this at the local level.” He requested that any and all surplus tax player dollars that were available would help cover the cuts and support the addition of an adult bed on the overcrowded Crisis Stabilization Unit.

After several supporters spoke on behalf of the Center’s request including the Sheriff’s office, a client and parent of a son who committed suicide, Board President Mary Beth Crawford, Founder Polly Keller and the Shelter for Abused Women and Children, County Commissioners got the message loud and clear that mental health services were important to tax payers, to the public safety of Collier County citizens and to the County’s bottom line. At the end of the meeting, Commissioners approved $450,000 of the available $7 million in surplus tax dollars to be used for the Adult Crisis Stabilization Unit. The Center is very thankful to everyone who lent their time to show the Commissioners their support of this critical funding.

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