TCC hosts open house for newest service center

Grayson County is adding a new mental health care resources to the list of services available for locals. Area residents dealing with mental health issues will soon have a new resource to help get them on the road toward independent living through the Texoma Community Center.

A new Criminal Justice Collaboration Transitional Living Facility will open in Denison next month. The facility that will offer housing for up to a year for individuals working through both mental health and legal issues.

Representatives with the community center said the facility, located at 102 Memorial Drive in Denison, will have eight beds, and will provide a needed resource in a region with limited services.

“I know it is only eight beds, but it is eight more beds than we had,” said Kristen Broadway, TCC fidelity manager for forensic services.

Located in the second floor of the organization’s existing crisis respite unit, near the former site of Texoma Medical Center, the program will be designed to act as a continuance of the level of care that the residents would see through the jail system. In order to qualify for the program, residents must have an ongoing case file with TCC and be a diagnosed with a mental condition and also be, or be danger of becoming, homeless.

“Maybe these people are on the street and they are being picked up over and over for trespassing,” Broadway said.

For this purpose, the program will work with local law enforcement to ensure that residents get the care that they need through each step on their way to recovery.

“Mental health issues affect not only a single person but the person’s family and loved ones,” Denison Lt. Mike Eppler said. “There is a tremendous effort in our area for providing mental health care to folks in need and the new TCC transitional living facility is an excellent example of providing care for affected individuals.”

Broadway said the program will fill a need for long-term housing in Grayson County. While the region has other resources, including homeless shelters and other programs, they are more focused on short-term care. As an example, the crisis response unit is only designed to keep residents for a few weeks at most.

Other housing options, including apartments, can be difficult to find as many seeking assistance through TCC have a criminal background, Broadway said.

TCC received grants for the project in late 2018, but the project saw setbacks over the last years, Broadway said. These included finding and hiring the five full-time technicians and management who will work in the program, she said.

The new facility is expected to open with its first eight residents on Feb. 17.