Jan DeBerg, WACF executive director; Kari Johnston, Human Service Agency executive director; & Joel Vockrodt, WACF Board chair; stand in front of construction now in progress of the new Appropriate Regional Facility on the Human Service Agency grounds. The Foundation awarded a $300,000 multi-year grant in support of the project.
The Watertown Area Community Foundation has awarded a$300,000 multi-year grant to support the Appropriate Regional Facility being constructed as part of the local Human Services Agency campus.
The multifaceted complex should be completed late 2022 and will more fully address mental and behavior health with a key benefit of the facility being a number of “safe” beds.
“I feel fortunate the Human Service Agency has the opportunity to make an impact in so many ways with our new facility,” said KariJohnston, HSA executive director. “We will continue to offer recovery of men living with a mental illness and addiction in our halfway house but also support anyone experiencing a mental health crisis in our new ARF beds. In this capacity we can hold anyone in crisis for up to five days instead of disrupting their lives ever further by sending them to a psychiatric hospital in Sioux Falls or Yankton.”
“The Foundation sees this as an opportunity to make our community stronger,” said Jan DeBerg, WACF executive director.
“Not only is the new facility important for individuals who will use it, it is extremely impactful for the community as a whole,” agreedJoel Vockrodt, WACF Board chair. “We understand the pressure it will also relieve for local law enforcement, the hospital… it will help the whole system. It’s a needed piece.”
Johnston stressed that having up to five days to help clients reach goals and a plan is a huge benefit compared to the current system. “The new ARF enables them to stay in their community and near their support system,” Johnston said. “In this manner, we serve more than the person experiencing the crisis; we are also providing hope and support for the entire family within their home community.”
Speaking of support, “We are truly grateful for the donations we have received so far,” Johnston said. “The Watertown AreaCommunity Foundation stepped forward with the initial grant after hearing how this facility will benefit our community. Without these philanthropic gifts, this facility would not be possible. Having such a giving Foundation within our community speaks to the giving nature of our residents and their desire to better the lives of many families in our community.”
HSA has also secured grants from the Division of BehavioralHealth, the Human Service Agency Foundation, Premier Bankcard with fundraising still in progress for the approximately $6 million project.