The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) is looking for a mid-summer opening for King County’s planned, and unsuccessfully fought, Crisis Solutions Center in Jackson Place. The 16th and Lane facility is intended to serve as a place for people having a mental crisis to get the help they need instead of placing additional burden on the county’s hospital and incarceration systems.
“A lot of people are being taken to the ER or jail by default because a more appropriate resource is not available,” Bill Hobson, Director of the DESC, told CDNews last year. Hobson, a Jackson Place resident himself, was trying to reassure his worried neighbors that the facility would not be a danger or detriment to the neighborhood.
Rather, Hobson said the new center is intended to be a “more therapeutic place for [the clients] to be in.”
But a group of neighbors saw the Crisis Solutions Center as a backdoor way of building a detention facility in an area where such facilities are not legally allowed. The group filed lawsuits to stop the Center, but the judged ruled against them. The deadline to file an appeal has passed, and renovation work on the facility is underway.
In the meantime, King County Councilmember Larry Gossett lead an effort to facilitate creation of a Good Neighbor Agreement between concerned neighbors and the new Center. That agreement (posted below) calls for the creation of an advisory committee to weigh in on Center decisions from here on out. The advisory committee will meet at least every six months after the facility opens.