Las Vegas Sun

November 18, 2018

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Las Vegas facility aims to end jail revolving door with services from detox to recovery

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Yvonne Gonzalez

Jeff Iverson, one of the founders of CrossRoads of Southern Nevada, speaks at the facility’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018.

A new substance abuse and mental health treatment facility aims to help patients achieve self-sufficiency from start to finish, officials said Thursday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

About 30 to 40 percent of the 4,100 people held in the Clark County Detention Center on a daily basis are in some sort of mental health or substance abuse crisis, said Metro Police Sheriff Joe Lombardo. It costs about $150 a day to house an individual in the detention center, and CrossRoads of Southern Nevada will help reduce that revolving door, he said.

“The largest mental health facility in the state of Nevada is the Clark County Detention Center,” Lombardo said. “… Law enforcement needs this. Alternatives to incarceration are the solution into the future because a government entity, we cannot afford to continue the way we are conducting ourselves today, and this is one of the solutions.”

Millions in private donations are funding the facility, which does not accept Medicare patients and is still working out a system for uninsured patients, said Jeff Iverson, one of the founders. He said no one will be turned away from the 172-bed facility.

CrossRoads is still working to obtain its licensing to provide detox services, which it expects next week, Iverson said. The plan is for all services to be available when the facility expects to start accepting its first patients Nov. 12, he said, with capacity to treat hundreds at a time. Patients will be able to detox at the facility and receive services all the way to outpatient care.

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CrossRoads of Southern Nevada board members Jason Horwitz and J. J. Bell, along with Jeff Iverson, one of the founders, and board member Will McNeil pose for a photo after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, at the new facility, which will offer mental health and substance abuse recovery services.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman also spoke at the event, which was attended by more than a dozen state lawmakers, officials and representatives from Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen’s office.

Lombardo said Iverson approached him a couple of years ago with the idea, and that while many projects like this lose momentum, this one did not. Iverson, born and raised in Las Vegas, said his personal addiction and recovery story helped him raise the “several million dollars” needed to create the facility.

“A lot of speed bumps and hurdles to jump over, specifically with getting the facility ready, licensed, dealing with a lot of different government entities,” Iverson said.

Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, who is running for governor, said after the event that he would work to bring this type of facility to more parts of the state if he is elected. He said Medicaid and other federal funding sources or grants could help bring more projects like CrossRoads online.

Sisolak said he wants to see how the program works before using a bill or some other mechanism to bring more to the state. He said with insurance companies and governments working together with Metro for a facility that brings treatment, medication and housing under one roof could become a model statewide.

“These are lives that we’re building, making an impact on individuals and individual lives and giving them hope where oftentimes there was no hope before,” he said. “… The need is so desperate, and the demand is so great. Oftentimes when people are faced with mental illness, they have nowhere to turn, their families have nowhere to turn, they don’t know where to go or what to do, and you’ve given them that place.”