The Greenburger Center is at Work in Upstate NY!
In July 2020, Hudson City Mayor Kamal Johnson asked the Greenburger Center to facilitate a Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) mapping Task Force in Columbia County to identify the County's mental health and substance use disorder service gaps. The request was the result of an Executive Order issued by the Mayor in response to the murder of George Floyd and is part of a larger reform package proposed by the Mayor.
Major service and infrastructure gaps identified include:
• Short-term crisis stabilization beds (up to 24 hours) and crisis step-down services (e.g., 3-week stabilization residential step-down housing and access to other services, including acute day treatment programs)
• Funding shortage for continuation of Mobile Crisis Assessment Team (MCAT) in 2022
• Supportive and homeless housing, including permanent supportive housing for those living with mental illness or SUDs, temporary supportive housing including a homeless shelter for the homeless population, and post crisis stabilization housing (up to 3 weeks)
• Acute day treatment and additional community clinic services
• Re-entry services for people released from incarceration and those who are on probation or otherwise diverted from the criminal justice system pre-trial
• Staff shortages for clinical positions and a lack of staff diversity
• Lack of criminal court diversion options
• Mental health counseling services for students
• After-graduation transitional services for students graduating from high school with more serious forms of mental illness
Major recommendations include:
• Ensure continuation of MCAT and development of short-term and step-down crisis services either associated with Columbia Memorial Hospital or the proposed Wellness Hub
• Creation of a Wellness Hub on a donated land in Greenport, New York, to enable co-located services for the target population, including relocation of the proposed PEOPLE, USA 20 bed DeTox Center
• Development of a 30-40 bed homeless shelter and elimination of motels for emergency housing, unless supportive services are located on-site
• Restoration of counseling services to pre-pandemic levels in schools, the jail, and County Mental Health Clinic
• Creation of a county mental health court to hear felony cases and a HUB court to allow for transfer of misdemeanor cases involving the target population from town and village courts to county court
• More training for town and village judges and lawyers in DA and Public Defender offices
• Repurposing a portion of the jail property or jail for supportive services for the target population
The Greenburger Center looks forward to working with the City and Columbia County to develop an implementation plan to address the identified gaps.