Benton-Franklin Human Services office is ready to hand off the job of responding to mental health emergencies to Lourdes Counseling at the end of the month.
In one of the last major obstacles to the transition, the two counties separately agreed to assign a lease for the space occupied by the crisis response unit to Lourdes.
The joint county operation is about two years into a seven-year lease with the property’s owner. Lourdes will assume responsibility for paying the rent while the counties will contribute $50,000 to cover the costs associated with furnishing the offices.
Lourdes will operate the crisis response team in the 500 N. Morain St. quarters.
Kyle Sullivan, administrator for the human services district, said the roughly 20 employees were notified that their jobs would be ending this month. Lourdes has hired many of the current employees.
The Benton and Franklin county commissions jointly decided in June to terminate a contract to respond to mental health crises under contract to greater Columbia Behavioral Health.
Greater Columbia provides mental health and other services in 10 counties by contracting with mostly private service providers.
Lourdes takes over the contract on Oct. 1.