ORANGEVALE (CBS13) – An Orangevale community continues to speak out against a mental health facility planned for their neighborhood. Turning Point Community Programs acquired the property last fall and plans to open a 15-bed crisis center on Elm Avenue.
“Within Orangevale is okay,” said Brook Damiano. “But just not across the street from a school and a park!”
More than 100 people showed up to the Orangevale Parks and Recreation board meeting to voice their concerns about the project and get the board to stand behind their opposition.
“If you do not take a stand now, there will be no going back to it,” said Linda Daniel.
Speaker after speaker, the message was delivered loud and clear: put Turning Point’s facility somewhere else.
“We are prepared to discuss it and potentially take action this evening,” said Greg Foell, District Administrator for Orangevale Parks and Recreation.
CBS13 wanted to know: How much could the board’s opinion affect the County’s final decision on whether to allow the facility?
“If a local group thinks an issue is big enough to bring to our attention, that’s definitely something we’ll be paying close attention to,” said Matt Hedges, Chief of Staff for County Supervisor Sue Frost.
In order to open its doors, Turning Point needs a use permit from the County. CEO Al Rowlett said he hasn’t filed an application for it just yet.
“There are several stakeholders who want to make sure that the services provided really do reflect the needs of the community,” he said.
Neighbors in opposition say they’re concerned that Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputies had to visit Turning Point’s Rio Linda facility twelve times since it opened in summer. But Turning Point’s CEO told CBS13 those calls were made by extra vigilant staff and calls are rare now.
Behavioral Health Director Uma Zykofsky explains that people living at Turning Point could have a range of issues.
“Mood disorders, depression, managing the challenges of having mental illness,” she said.
But with three existing residential mental health facilities in Sacramento County and three in the works, she believes the services provided are invaluable.
“You break a leg, you get rehabilitation, so too we should have mental health facilities at all levels,” Zykofsky said.
Thursday night, the Parks and Recreation board decided to write letter opposing the facility. They plan to send it to Orangevale CPAC and to each member of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.