The Bridge Center has received proposals from two candidates interested in being the main service provider for the planned mental health diversion facility.
One is Recovery International, an 80-year-old, Chicago-based mental health self-help organization that has served more than 1 million people in its multiple locations across the country.
The other has local roots, led by Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, in partnership with Baton Rouge General, among others.
“We’re very excited because they both have a history of working in crisis stabilization and doing this type of work,” says Kathy Kliebert, Bridge Center board chair.
As of this morning’s deadline, Kliebert had yet to see either proposal and couldn’t immediately say how much either contract would cost, or whether the candidates would want to be located in the Baton Rouge General Mid City campus or another site.
Both candidates will present their proposals next week, says Kliebert, with a service provider chosen by Aug. 21 and a contract executed sometime in October. Operations are set to begin in March.
East Baton Rouge Parish voters approved a 1.5-mill property tax for the center in December, projected to generate $6 million annually over its initial 10-year life. The facility aims to fill a gap in behavioral health services in the city-parish, serving as a diversion center where officials can send crisis patients as an alternative to jails or emergency rooms.