Catoosa sheriff says proposed mental health facility is needed in the county
A proposed $50 million dollar mental health facility will sit on 200 acres on Lake Road in Catoosa County, Georgia if it passes through a zoning hearing and the Catoosa County Commission.
The proposal sent in by a non-profit organization, Healthy Foundations, said they will offer a wide variety of mental health services including addiction recovery, housing, behavioral health services, workforce support and more.
You can read the full proposal letter here and fact sheets here:
Sheriff Gary Sisk said there's no treatment center like this in the county.
"In Catoosa County, we have these people that are hurting in our community that are in need of these services," said Sisk.
Channel Three spoke with people who live next to the proposed facility, they declined to be interviewed on camera, but they said they don't want this facility in their backyard. They're concerned about their safety, the safety of the students at Tiger Creek Elementary School 1.4 miles, and increased traffic on the road.
Sisk said the people that need help are all around you.
"The families that I'm talking to and that are coming to see me, they're your everyday neighbor, they're already living next door to you, they're already in your backyard," said Sisk.
He said this wouldn't create any added dangers to the school.
"The location they're looking at is about 1.4 miles this jail that we're sitting at right now is about 1.3 miles from Ringgold High School," said Sisk. "There's a number of registered sex offenders that live within walking distance of that elementary school. There are dangers around us every day."
Sisk said the people going to this facility genuinely need the help offered by this facility.
"But the people that are going to be going there and seeking these services, they're going to get help, they're not someone who's being locked up there, that's trying to get away," he said.
He also said that these programs allow people to rehabilitate and transition in their community helping the recovery process.
"So those triggers that triggered someone to become a drug addict in the first place they're now faced with again, but yet before when they when they received treatment they were completely removed from it," said Sisk.
Sisk said it's about helping people in their community.
"We as a community have to own our own problems, and we as a community have to come together and say that we're going to help provide these," said Sisk.
This facility isn't a done deal, as the land has to be rezoned by the county before the facility can be built there. The next meeting will be held on September, 24th at 6:00 pm.