WellSpace Health has purchased a 13-acre parcel of land in Sacramento County on which they plan to build a wellness campus.
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors allocated $4.75million on Tuesday to WellSpace Health to purchase the property. WellSpace intends to build the property over several years in order to expand their services.
WellSpace CEO Jonathan Porteus said, "We've reached a stage where we're running multiple programs that need more space."
The property has not been identified, as the deal is still in progress. However, agenda documents state that WellSpace is currently in escrow for the property, with a closing date of late April.
The county pays for the purchase with the American Rescue Plan Act discretionary funding it allocated to each supervisory district. The majority of the money, $3.25million, came from District 2, supervisor Patrick Kennedy's district and $1.5million came from District 3 supervisor Rich Desmond's allocation.
Porteus stated that WellSpace intends to build the campus out over five to seven year, culminating with a $120million project.
Porteus stated that the initial push for expanding the 988 system would be our first priority.
WellSpace Health, the company that answers the mental health crisis hotlines in California, was selected to be the primary provider of these calls for at least 20 counties.
Porteus stated that the hotline receives 110,000 calls per year. As we move forward, we are confident that 988 will triple in popularity as it is promoted more.
WellSpace hired 30 new employees to expand its service since the new number was launched in July. Porteus says that it will need to hire at least 50 more people in the future.
WellSpace will build a two-story, 32,000-square foot building called the CRISIS Center on its new campus. The CRISIS Center would house a 10,000 square-foot call centre. Porteus explained that the crisis communication hub would enable WellSpace to connect its 988 service to other emergency response systems. 911 dispatchers would then be able transfer mental health emergency calls directly to the 911 number. The 988 service could also send out a mobile team instead of law enforcement or emergency medical responders that are initiated by 911 calls.
Porteus stated that the third leg is an alternative to the emergency room and jail for people who are in crisis.
The CRISIS Center also provides this type of space. It will include short-term care residential, comprehensive mental and substance abuse care, and an outpatient clinic.