Behavioral Health Hospital (Crisis Center)
More than 100 people, many of them sporting stickers touting Lake County United's support for a proposed behavior health center, packed a May Vernon Hills Planning and Zoning Board hearing, spilling out into an adjacent conference room and overflow area, where they watched the proceedings on a closed-circuit television.

The Planning and Zoning Board, which initially seemed to reject the request for a special use permit for the hospital, changed its mind and its vote after more 30 residents, related their difficulties finding help for family members, themselves, or clients during mental health crises.

NEXT STEP: Village of Vernon Hills Committee of the Whole will meet on July 18th at 7:00 PM to discuss the proposed hospital.
Background on Mental Health and Housing Strategy
In June 2015 Lake County United held a Delegate Assembly with over 250 people and presented a strategy with 3 goals to reduce the flow of people with mental illness into the criminal justice system and redirect cost savings to preventative mental health care:
    1. Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for police and sheriff in Lake County- the proven and primary way police learn to use de-escalation tactics in dealing with a person with mental illness
    2. Improving access to crisis stabilization centers, another component of diverting people with mental illness from the criminal justice system and towards appropriate treatment and services rather than emergency rooms.
    3. Increasing affordable and supportive housing opportunities
Fairhaven Crossing

Celebration for the Completion of Fairhaven Crossing

In January Lake County United brought together more than 300 people to celebrate the completion of Fairhaven Crossing, a 40 unit, affordable housing development in Mundelein. The crowd let elected officials know that they support affordable housing in Lake County.

Fairhaven Crossing Before and After View
Built to accommodate families with some larger units, as well as those with physical and mental disabilities, the building is conveniently located in the downtown area, close to shopping and transportation. It replaces a long empty former industrial building that had been an eyesore in the area. Now Lake County United leaders are following up with elected officials in places where there are potential land opportunities for new construction or repurposing existing structures.
New Housing Opportunity
The Lake County United Housing Team has been meeting with the Warren Township Supervisor and invited Lake County Residential Development Corporation (LCRDC) to explore plans to develop land in Warren Township for housing that will be affordable for working families and individuals. There will be a Warren Township meeting on July 10th at 7:00 PM, which will allow Warren Township residents to vote to allow or prevent the land to be sold,  This vote would determine if this land can be sold to build affordable (for low and moderate income families/individuals) housing.
Mental Health - Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training
Lake County United leaders met again with Sheriff Mark Curran, Undersheriff Ray Rose, States Attorney Michael Nerheim as well as Lake County and College of Lake County staffs to discuss the progress on the Critical Incident Team (CIT) training. CIT is designed to equip officers to de-escalate situations when confronted with those undergoing a mental health crisis.
 
Several members of the Sheriff's department are working with the College of Lake County to become certified CIT trainers, which will increase the available training. This will significantly increase the number of local law enforcement officers ability to receive the training each year.
 
Prior to 2015 approximately 77 out of 1259 law enforcement officers in Lake County were CIT certified. An additional 267 officers (Sheriff and police) have received CIT training in the last 2 years.
 
As a follow-up to the Crisis Intervention Team conference organized last November by Lake County United and its affiliates, the planners met again with Roger Heaton, the Illinois State Director of Public Safety, to continue working to increase the CIT training and crisis centers throughout the state
Update On Additional Current Work And Our Affiliates
Education

Eight Waukegan to College (W2C) students will graduate from college this year, bringing the total of first-generation college graduates from the program to 27. Originally founded by Lake County United, W2C now is an independent organization and has 142 students, with plans to expand by 40 more this fall. Starting with children in middle school, W2C mentors students and guides them all the way through college.

Collaboration

Two Lake County United leaders, Don and Kathy Pierson, joined 100 other leaders from Metro IAF affiliates from around the country in a meeting designed to identify ways of collaborating on common issues, as well as aligning in ways that further work on local issues. 

Leadership Development  
  
Three leaders from Lake County United joined 28 others from the Midwest region to attend a 5-Day Leadership training conducted by organizers affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation
Participants of 5-Day Leadership Training in May 2017 

New Member

St. Lawrence Episcopal Church in Libertyville joined Lake County United at the beginning of this year. WELCOME!

Get Involved
  1. Participate in or host a listening session in your institution or agency - to learn more contact info@lakecountyunited.org
  2. Participate in the LCU Mental Health or Housing team  
  3. Attend the Village of Vernon Hills Committee of the Whole meeting in support of the proposed behavioral health hospital July 18th at 7:00PM
  4. Attend Warren Township Special Meeting on land use on July 10th at 7:00PM 
  5. Attend leadership training 
  6. For information on get involved, contact info@lakecountyunited.org
  7. If you are interested in volunteering with Waukegan to College(W2C) contact -Elyse Danckers  edanckers@waukegantocollege.org

     

Additional News
Read about United Power for Action and Justice (an affiliate of LCU) 
Link to UPAJ Website
Donate to LCU 
Unlike traditional service organizations Lake County United does not receive government money or funding from the majority of service oriented foundations, which makes your generous donation even more critical for Lake County United.
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