CRC unit funding approved
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 10:42
Just days after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary and in a time where many have called for renewed discussions on the need for mental health services, members of the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board agreed to fund a project designed to help children during times of severe crisis.
The ADAMHS Board agreed to provide up to $150,000 in matching funds for expansion of the Children's Resource Center residential unit. The matching funds will come from the Ohio Department of Mental Health.
"This is about serving a population we have not been able to serve," said CRC executive director Janelle LaFond.
"The kids are out there. The need is definitely there," she said.
The expansion/upgrade of residential unit, designed for youth in severe crisis, will increase capacity from six to eight single beds. Currently, if all beds in the residential unit are in use the CRC has to send the youth out of the county for services.
Monday's vote marked the first time in more than 20 years the ADAMHS Board agreed to help fund a construction project.
Board member Frank McLaughlin cast the lone vote against the funding resolution.
"I really struggled with this because I have always been a big supporter of CRC and I can't disagree with any of the CRC's mission or services they provide," McLaughlin said.
"The thing is, I don't understand why the CRC Board has come to ask this Board for the funds," he continued. "It appears the funds may be available from a bank loan - if nothing less."
Several members and employees of the CRC were present at Monday's meeting.
"I don't doubt that there is a need for this ... but I guess I just am having a really difficult time agreeing to fund this construction," McLaughlin said.
Board chair Judy Ennis spoke in favor of the resolution.
"In my 10 years on this board, I have never seen such an outpouring of support for this type of project," Ennis said.
"From my perspective, the county is asking us to step forward and fill this community need," she said.
Also at Monday's meeting, the board unanimously agreed to allow Executive Director Tom Clemons to begin the process of hiring an associate director.
Clemons was formerly the associate director, but the position has remained vacant for six months since his promotion to executive director.
While Clemons will do the hiring, the salary range for the position will be decided by the board.
Clemons said he plans to involve the board in the hiring process.
"I probably will be calling on all of you for your help," he said.