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Mental health facility could be coming to Lompoc

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jan 16, 2020
Mental health facility in the works for Lompoc

While mental health facilities and resources are scarce across the state, one organization is aiming to open up in Lompoc.

The 80 bed mental health facility would be operated by Crestwood Behavioral Health, a privately owned mental health provider in California.

The facility was last used about two years ago as a substance abuse center.

The proposal has some residents surrounding the Champion Center in Lompoc concerned about what it could mean for their neighborhood... especially when it comes to security.

"We definitely need facilities for the mental health... my only concern is that they are not planning on having security around the building, and I feel for this area, especially, we do need that security," said Kathleen Price, a Lompoc resident.

Lompoc Valley Medical Center, owns the facility and said they are in the process of finalizing the agreement with privately owned Crestwood Behavioral Health who will run the operation.

According to Lompoc Valley Medical Center CEO Steve Popkin, Crestwood will have a contract with the county to provide care to 32 of the county's patients.

"Residents of the county of Santa Barbara... when they need such services are being placed and referred to facilities and locations all over northern and southern California. So this will definitely be a step in the right direction in filling a void that currently exists in the county," said Popkin.

While residents understand there is a need for mental health resources, some residents have concerns.

"We were told there is not going to be certified physicians on staff. We were also told there is no security for this facility and the residents... we are very concerned," said Jeri Pico, a Lompoc resident.

After receiving public input from residents at a meeting last month, two sections were added to the letter of intent between the two groups involved.

One addressing having daily security presence at the property and the other to mitigate parking on the street in the area.

According to Popkin, more work has to be done to finalize the lease but it could be signed as soon as the end of the month or the beginning of February.

The facility is expected to employ between 75 to 85 workers.

KSBY did reach out to Crestwood for comment but did not hear back.