United Caring Services is excited for the Evansville Care Center (ECC) to become a reality for our community. The ECC will be a new front-line intoxication, substance use, and/or co-occurring mental health crisis intervention and diversion program in partnership with the city of Evansville, Evansville Police Department, ECHO Community Health, Vanderburgh County Health Dept, Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, AMR, local hospitals and many other agencies and individuals. This new program will expand upon UCS’s Recuperative Care Services medical respite goals of safe discharge and better health outcomes to include addressing the stabilization and treatment needs of people with substance use and/or co-occurring mental health issues — issues that cause and continue people’s homelessness.
These new services will provide a safe, supportive, and more cost-effective alternative to incarceration, emergency medical services, and emergency department use.
With the support of the community, we will renovate/update the ‘Annex’ and office areas at UCS to provide 4-7 short-term sobering/stabilization beds (up to 23 hours) for people experiencing an intoxication, substance use, and/or co-occurring mental health crises who are not dangerous to themselves or others and medically able to receive care. This will be a voluntary program for adults who will gain access by police drop of, EMS, or ED referral. These new services will allow people an opportunity to receive assessment, intervention, stabilization, education, coordination with other treatment providers, and referrals for follow-up care additionally utilizing longer-term respite or safe have/bridge housing (coming in 2021) services as a safe discharge point for people experiencing homelessness as well with the opportunity for continuing case management and wrap-around services.
Below are our current working documents as of March 2021. As we anticipate and seek community funding and federal grant support to make this needed service a reality and fine-tune our processes, this information will be updated. Work has been completed on the drawings and design for the program and administrative spaces thanks to VPS Architects and ARC Construction. Despite being delayed by the pandemic in 2020, most of the construction and renovation is completed and we anticipate having the space ready for use by mid-2021. New policies and procedures, and a database, that support this new community endeavor are also nearly complete. A data taskforce has been created to create and implement a database for data collection, tracking, and reporting.
The implementation timeline, as well as the depth and coverage of services, is funding-dependent, but we hope to implement a successful front-line intervention model and the team starting in 2021. As we seek operation funding, we still have some equipment, supplies, and final renovations to purchase and complete.
To celebrate UCS’s 30 years of service as well as 30 more years of making life-saving differences in people’s lives, consider donating directly to the ECC so it can be ready to open this summer.
More updates on renovation, policy, procedures, partners, and funding progress will be shared as they are available.
Coordinating and strategic partners seeking to help make this program a reality.
A special thank you to IBEW Local #16, CenterPointe Energy, Toyota Foundation, Cater Communications, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, the city of Evansville, Traci Welp, Jim, and Jan Spath, and several other individual donors for their project renovation/capital improvement/database support so far. We are almost there!