LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Will the Crisis Triage Center ever open to the public in Doña Ana County?
It's been seven years. There is still no definitive answer.
"I think we have to think of a better plan to use whatever resources we have before we start spending more money to fix a problem we don't understand," said Commissioner Shannon Reynolds, who represents district three.
Last September, Doña Ana County contracted with Recovery Innovations International to develop a business development plan, according to a presentation to commissioners on Tuesday.
The Crisis Triage Center was originally constructed to provide short-term voluntary mental health crisis care for any person in Doña Ana County, said Jamie Michael, the county's director of Health and Human Services.
One day, the center could provide resources to people leaving jail or mental health hospitals, according to Tuesday's presentation. Members of the public having mental health crises could also seek help.
"When we look at data, people with mental illness are over-represented in the jail for a whole variety of reasons," Michael said. "We need to find people who can be safely treated in the community."
"Somebody could be extremely depressed in the detention center," said Doña Ana County Manager Fernando Macias. "They don't know where their future is. They have limited contact with their family."
"I ask you to take Godspeed in getting this done sooner than later," said Dolores Lucero, a taxpayer.
Manager Macias told commissioners that there is money allocated in next fiscal year's budget for the crisis triage center.
However, there is still no set date for the building to open to the public.