May 23rd, 2023
Faraldi for Lynchburg
— Vice Mayor Faraldi Secures $4.1 Million for a Crisis Receiving Center in Lynchburg —
Lynchburg, VA — After bringing a proposal to City Council in April, following a 7-0 vote, Vice Mayor Chris Faraldi successfully secured up to $4.1 million for Horizon Behavioral Health's initiative to create a Crisis Receiving Center within city limits. Such a center will be a one-stop-shop for individuals struggling and in need of critical services, an operation unlike any other in the Commonwealth. This creative and out-of-the-box solution will not only bring desperately needed relief to law enforcement currently sitting in the emergency room with patients but also will bring 70+ jobs to the region. In ways, this vote could be one of the most consequential votes of each member on council.
Following the vote for these funds, the Vice Mayor issued the following statement:
Right now, there is likely no greater issue in our community and day-to-day operations for law enforcement than mental health. Our system is broken. Unfortunately, there is no other way to say it. For those in dire need, in their darkest moments, they often find themselves taken to a hospital for days on end, all required to be under the supervision of law enforcement. This not only takes officers off the streets but does not offer the specific care these folks desperately need. Worse, this even applies to children. These situations are called Emergency or Temporary Custody Orders (ECOs & TDOs). ECOs and TDOs create a tremendous strain on our health system and law enforcement personnel. Oftentimes, you will see countless vehicles from sheriff's offices and police departments at Lynchburg General, again for days on end.
That is why I am most proud of leading council to secure up to $4.1 million of city tax dollars for Horizon Behavioral Health's Crisis Receiving Center (CRC) project in this budget.
I would like to thank Senator Steve Newman for being a chief advocate for this project in the General Assembly, fighting to secure millions of dollars through the State Budget in an effort to offset costs to Horizon here locally. While his leadership was the catalyst for seeing this initiative to completion, more dollars were needed. So, I wasted no time in lending my full support to the CRC and immediately advocating for the City to follow in the footsteps of the Commonwealth and General Assembly. This city budget creates a lockbox of "up to" dollars for Horizon's use in completing this critical project. As the organization seeks other grants and funding opportunities, Horizon and the region can rest assured that this city government has stepped up to the plate and delivered.
This project also has an economic development perspective — nearly 70 jobs will be created for the CRC, thus continuing to build our job market and improve our local economy.
Candidly, there is no quicker way to get more officers on our streets than getting the CRC up and running. I am immensely humbled and honored to have led on this issue. My gratitude and profound appreciation are expressed to my fellow Board of Directors at Horizon, our CEO Melissa Lucy, Lynchburg's City Manager Wynter Benda, and City Council for backing this project and vision.
Through allocating these funds, the city of Lynchburg has put significant investment into addressing the mental health issues in our area, not only for the city but for the region at large. The city's "pot" of funds is allocated to the City Manager for his use, up to $4.1 million. Horizon has committed to finding other funding opportunities to help offset taxpayer dollars from the city, and each future allocation of these funds will be considered individually. Finally, council has approved these funds in partnership with Campbell County in an effort to demonstrate regional investment for grant opportunities.
Chris Faraldi, a conservative Republican, is the Ward IV Representative and Vice Mayor of Lynchburg City Council.