Mind Springs plans new facility

Mind Springs Health plans to relocate two substance abuse programs into a single location in Clifton.

The nonprofit mental health provider had been faced with what to do with its residential Women's Recovery Program, which is being forced to move out of its current location on the Grand Junction Regional Center campus on Riverside Parkway.

With that Department of Human Services campus for the developmentally and intellectually disabled planning to close next year, the 20-bed residential recovery program is forced to find new digs.

But now that Grand Junction has been tapped by the department's Office of Behavioral Health to bring a similar state-funded program known as Circle to town, Mind Springs wants to combine the two into the same location on land it bought near the intersection of E and 32 roads.

To get that done, the Mesa County commissioners approved a conditional land use permit for the nonprofit Tuesday for a 17,750-square-foot facility that would house the two residential treatment programs.

"Our mission is to save people's lives, and these programs have such demand that we're very selective as to who we let into them," said Dan Weller, director of the two programs. "In order to fulfill our mission of saving people's lives, security has to be a paramount concern for us. We won't admit and/or tolerate any type of violence or aggressive behavior. The people we serve in these programs have a history of trauma, and that history is very sensitive to any type of aggressive behavior."

The Circle program, a similar substance-abuse treatment program for men and women, for years has exclusively operated in Pueblo out of the Colorado Mental Health Institute. Last fall, the department relocated the $2 million-a-year program to another location in Pueblo, and expanded it to two other locations in the state, Grand Junction and Fort Collins.

Here, it is to accommodate male and female clients who are to stay at the 16-bed facility full-time in three-month stints getting treatment for mental health or alcohol and drug abuse. The women's program currently houses 20 women for the same time period. In some cases, they also can bring their children as long as they are under the age of 10.

"At one of the early planning meetings, I asked one of the therapists whether or not 20 beds was the magic number, and he said if we could double that ... we could fill it tomorrow," said architect Robert Jenkins, who designed the new facility for Mind Springs. "The need is absolutely there."

Jenkins said the existing program has a waiting list of 32 people.

Only one person objected to the permit, a neighbor who says it could pose a security risk to her and other neighbors.

As a result, the commissioners ordered Mind Springs to find ways to mitigate her concerns.

Construction for the facility, which is to employ about 30 people, is expected to start in the fall, with a planned completion date of September 2020.

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