Living Room Program Opens to Public, Expands Services
Diversion program for mental health and substance use disorder celebrates first year of operation
LOUISVILLE, KY – One year after its start as a pilot program limited to two Louisville Metro Police divisions, the Living Room program is now open to the public.
Mayor Greg Fischer joined partners from Centerstone, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, LMPD, Metro Corrections and Metro Council today for a special Open House and press conference to celebrate the Living Room’s one-year anniversary and newly expanded services.
The Living Room is a safe, calming space where adults in crisis can be connected with needed resources to address mental health and substance use disorder, as opposed to costly and often unnecessary stays in jail, emergency rooms or inpatient hospitalization.
The low-barrier facility, located at 708 Magazine Street, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Since its soft opening on December 10, 2017, the Living Room has served more than 1,100 guests and provided more than 8,000 hours of care to people in crisis in our community.
“Adding the Living Room to the services we have available in Louisville has been a great achievement over the past year,” said Mayor Fischer. “Helping to connect people in crisis to support and services is just one more way that Louisville is proving itself to be a compassionate city.”
The Living Room first opened as a pilot project with two Louisville Metro Police Divisions, who tested the feasibility of bringing individuals in crisis to the center instead of jail or the hospital. By March 2018, all eight LMPD divisions had begun utilizing the program.
The Living Room has been able to expand services even more in recent months thanks to renewed funding from Louisville Metro Council. Updates include:
· Renovation of the space to be more user-friendly and secure;
· Addition of medical services at the site during certain hours of the day; and
· Addition of transportation to help get clients get to and from the Living Room and other services.
Last month, the Living Room completely opened its doors to the public. Guests no longer require a referral from police, hospitals or other sources. Now, they simply need to ring the doorbell to get assistance.
“We at Centerstone couldn’t be prouder of the work that has gone into establishing this valuable community resource,” said Abby Drane, President & CEO, Centerstone Kentucky. “Since opening to the public, the Living Room as seen a 25 percent increase in guest check-ins – illustrating the need this community has for low-barrier crisis diversion services.”
Centerstone staff expect to see continued growth as they launch a public awareness initiative to get the word out about available services.
Students from the University of Louisville Criminal Justice program will continue to be involved in studying the effectiveness of the program, to help determine how many resources are being saved by diverting people away from jails and hospitals.