The Dalles City Council recap 10/26

The Dalles City Council met last night in a work session with Wasco County Commissioners, the Wasco County Sheriff, and the board of the Center For Living. The topic was mental illness, and the problems of dealing with it locally. Participants noted that the State of Oregon ranked 47th in mental health care nationally, that funding had been drastically cut, services were mostly unavailable, and that jail was not the answer, even for lawbreakers, if they had mental illness.

There was a bright spot, when Sheriff Lane Magill said there has been a group of stakeholders meeting on the problem:

“We would like to create what they call a STOP or stabilization center, a place where people could come for respite, they could be in a place where they are safe – acute mental crisis, sub-acute, drug addiction, all those types of things – kind of a one-stop shop. This group, as of October 22nd, has made a draft business plan to build a facility in our region. We hope to have a business plan polished by the end of the year, then go from there.”

Magill said this was a start, but would need funding, and ask local elected officials to urge Salem to respond.

Council member also decided to have a special meeting Wednesday the 28th at noon to consider an ordinance approving a homeless camp on city property, particularly since the night-time temperature has dropped below freezing.