BELTON, Texas — Bell County is moving forward with plans to open a Diversion Center after purchasing a building for the project.
On Wednesday, Sept. 29, Bell County officials announced that they had purchased the former Luvida Memory Care building, which is located near Belton's Bell County's Jail Complex on Loop 121.
A Diversion Center is intended as a place where where those who are dealing with mental health crises can be sent to receive care that they would not receive otherwise.
In the past, patients dealing with these issues would typically be sent either to local hospital emergency departments or even the Bell County Jail.
“Those places are not intended or equipped to serve patients who are suffering with mental illness,” County Judge David Blackburn said. “Our goal is to identify those folks and connect them with the care they desperately need.”
Officials had reportedly considered building a new facility for the center, but the purchase of the existing 17,000 square-foot Luvida building offered multiple advantages.
“We are actually getting more space for less money,” Judge Blackburn said.
The facility was already vacant, and will reportedly only require minor renovations. The Center is set to open in September of 2023, once the renovations are complete.
As of last report, the plan for the Diversion Center will include a mental health triage area as well as a 16-bed crisis residential center. Crisis assessment and residential services will be provided by Central Counties Services.
“If this is going to serve the purpose that I hope that it does,” Judge Blackburn said, “there’s going to be more than one need coming through the door, and we want to make sure that we are in the best position to adapt to those challenges once we are up and running.”
The Diversion Center will be a partnership between Bell County, Central Counties Services, Baylor Scott & White, and AdventHealth Central Texas.