The proposed site of the "living room" at 311 Elmwood Ave. on the St. Francis Hospital campus. (Google Maps image)

City Council members are scheduled Monday evening to discuss a proposal to develop a “living room” facility in Evanston to treat persons in mental health crisis.

In a memo, Interim City Manager Kelley Gandurski says Mayor Daniel Biss, Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th) and Ald. Cicely Fleming (9th) have met with several agencies to discuss how to develop alternatives to hospital emergency room visits for such residents.

The memo says a “living room” at the Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center in Skokie has successfully provided “a safe, trauma-informed, expertly-staffed alternative to hospital emergency rooms” where “guests can resolve crises with an experienced and compassionate team of therapists and recovery support specialists.”

The memo suggests that such a facility in Evanston could be located in a single-family home owned by Amita St. Francis Hospital at 311 Elmwood Ave.

It suggests that, after renovation, the facility could be operated by Turning Point, in partnership with Trilogy Behavioral Health Care and Impact Behavioral Health.

The memo says Turning Point estimates the annual cost for operating the facility would be about $650,000. City staff estimates the cost of renovations at about $225,000.

The memo suggests the renovation costs could be paid for with American Rescue Plan Act funds. It adds that there may be grant opportunities from the county and state and possible funding through the city’s two hospitals.

Monday will also see the launch of Trilogy’s mobile mental health crisis response team in Evanston that’s funded primarily by a state grant.

On another public safety related issue, council members Monday will be asked to approve $552,500 in ARPA funding to expand the “My City, Your City, Our City” initiative to address youth and family violence prevention strategies and families impacted by violence.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. This is a fantastic idea! I’m excited that Evanston community is looking for a way to help those with mental health issues. It is a service that is overdue.

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