Henry Davis Jr.
Of the city DECISION The allocation of approximately $2.5 million in funding for a mental health crisis center for its first year of operation is a testament to the efforts of a broad-based coalition of community partners to advocate for humane and compassionate treatment for members. vulnerable of our community. It is because of our demands that the administration’s budget spending finally matches their rhetoric of concern for those struggling with mental illness.
As I have said on many occasions, requiring the police to respond to situations where people experiencing mental health crises and using the St. Joseph as a treatment center are unstable, inhumane. Very often, this leads to tragic situations like what happened in the summer when Dante Kittrell, a man suffering from a mental health crisis died in a police-involved shooting.
By funding the center with the distribution of federal pandemic relief dollars, the city took action that was within its legal and budgetary authority to take. However, it should be noted that the mental health crisis extends beyond South Bend’s city limits. It is a statewide issue that will require resources from all government agencies in St. Louis County. Joseph. St. Louis County Commission Joseph, St. Joseph County Council. Joseph and the city of Mishawaka should work with the city of South Bend to secure permanent funding for the mental health center.
Finally, I would hope that the city would take the extra step to fully fund a mobile mental health crisis response team established within the South Bend Fire Department. This is good practice because it provides care for those undergoing a mental health crisis, while removing the police from an encounter they are not properly trained to handle. Several communities have entered into agreements with their fire departments to respond to mental health crises, including Madison, Wisconsin, San Francisco, California, Eugene, Oregon, Anchorage, Alaska, and Chandler, Arizona.
Henry Davis Jr. represents the 2nd District on the South Bend Common Council.