Even before taking his seat on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, Kenny Boddye (D-Occoquan) was open about his personal connection to removing stigmas surrounding mental health and increasing access to care. He lost his mother in 2016, after a decades-long battle with substance abuse as she self-medicated for mental illness that wasn’t diagnosed into late in her life. She was in his thoughts as he put forth a motion to authorize County staff to bid on a permanent home for its new Crisis Receiving Center.
The County had already entered into an 11-year lease to house the CRC, set to open in 2024, at the former Gander Mountain site at when it learned that the property was to be sold at live auction, providing the opportunity to instead own the building outright. The county’s $15.2M bid prevailed, securing the location for the CRC, which will also be complemented by wrap-around mental health services when the county relocates its Department of Community Services to the 155,309 square-foot facility, situated on 12.51 acres.
“This Board secured $18M in combined federal, state, and local funds to deliver on our promise of bringing crisis-based mental health services to the people of Prince William,” said Supervisor Boddye. “With the Gander Mountain purchase, we can protect that investment while expanding available services and demonstrating our long-term commitment to increasing access to mental health services in our community.”
The center will have 23 beds — 16 for adults and 8 for youth — people experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis and 24 recliners where people can receive assessment and treatment for up to 23 hours. It will also serve as a safe place for police officers to bring individuals placed under emergency protective orders, diverting them from emergency hospitalization or jail. In co-locating Community Services in the building, the county will be able to provide a continuum of care at the facility.
“A place like this could have very well saved my mother, and it will absolutely save lives here in Prince William County,” said Supervisor Boddye. “It is groundbreaking for our community, and the comprehensive, wrap-around approach it will offer is groundbreaking for the Commonwealth.”
Supervisor Boddye noted that bring a CRC to the County has been a collaborative, community effort: “Thank you to all of the residents and advocates who often shared very personal stories to advocate for the Crisis Receiving Center, to my colleague Supervisor Bailey for championing this cause, and to all of the county staff working behind the scenes to make this possible.”