ROCKVILLE, Md. – Some homeowners in Rockville say they’re upset with a Montgomery County plan to place a round-the-clock mental healthcare facility next to their neighborhood.
A forum is being held Thursday on the proposed “restoration center” that would provide 24/7 specialized care and evaluations for people experiencing behavioral mental health crises.
It’s set to be built on Montgomery County-owned property next to the county jail. But that’s not all it’s located next to…
It’s also near a residential neighborhood off Seven Locks Road where residents are concerned about having a mental healthcare intake facility in their backyards.
Sara Devine of the Seven Locks Steering Committee says this isn’t a “nimby’ situation. Folks have lived next to the jail for years, but they say this is different.
“The key difference between that detention center and this new restoration center is that restoration center is going to be a 24/7 open facility with an open door policy!” Devine said. “To get in, the current model says they have to be referred from the county most likely a first responder of some sort, police or fire.”
Right now, when emergency officials respond to a person in a mental health crisis, they’re often taken to an emergency room. Dr. Earl Stoddard, Montgomery County’s assistant administrative officer, says they hear the community concerns and are trying to make the restoration center safe for both the patients and the neighbors.
“We’ve heard their concerns, but we think we can reduce those concerns through design and through implementation of this program in the right way,” Stoddard explained. “We actually did a site survey to a location very similar in Newark, Delaware and that’s right next to an elementary school.
The Rockville City mayor and city council are opposed to the location. If the design process moves forward, the facility could open its doors in 2027. Some neighbors, however, haven’t ruled out going to court to stop that from happening.