Denver’s behavioral health ‘solutions center’ takes a step closer to reality in Sun Valley

Elected officials OK a construction contract worth close to $5.8 million.

The Denver Family Crisis Center in Sun Valley, May 2, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Denver Family Crisis Center in Sun Valley, May 2, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Denver City Council members OK’d a contract with Turner Construction worth $5.75 million Monday to fund the renovation of what will eventually be a mental health center in Sun Valley.

The Denver Solutions Center at 2929 W. 10th Ave. will provide mental health and substance abuse treatment for people in need of attention and a bed, particularly if they are experiencing homelessness. It’s an attempt by the city to redirect people away from jails and toward services with the help of police officers on the front lines.

The center will have the capacity to serve 46 people at a time — 30 beds for people who can stay a maximum of 30 days, and a “crisis unit” for 16 people who can stay up to five days. The city-run Family Crisis Center, which closed in 2016, once occupied the building. The Mental Health Center of Denver will operate the center when completed in August or September of 2020.

Some locals did not want the center in their neighborhood because they feared its patients, who are free to come and go, will undercut safety in the area.

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