Collaboration First Step

Last Tuesday, twenty people from around the state met in Brookings to discuss creating temporary transitional housing for individuals coming out of long-term mental health care back into our
community.  The lack of this type of housing and support has been a recognized gap in Brookings for some time. The meeting on Tuesday served as a first step toward filling this gap with a specific purpose and project in mind.This meeting was sponsored by the Brookings Empowerment Project (BEP), a local non-profit that advocates for caregivers and individuals with persistent mental illness.  At the meeting were representatives from BEP, the Human Services Center in Yankton, Avera Behavioral in Sioux
Falls, the Avera Brookings Clinic, Avera Outpatient Therapy in Brookings, the Brookings City Council, the Brookings Mayor’s Office, the Brookings Area United Way, the East Central Behavioral Health
Board, the Brookings City / County Mental Health Task Force, and the South Dakota Department of Social Services.  A  State Legislator from Brookings was also present.

The focus of the meeting was to build collaboration to support the development of “Transitional Housing” in the Brookings community. The meeting took place at a facility being considered for this venture.

The next steps that were broadly discussed were:

1) Work to increase provider collaboration in Brookings County for
“Temporary” housing.
2) Work to increase recognition of the need for financial support for
the project.A followup meeting will be held sometime in late November or early December.Craig Pahl
BEP President

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