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Fletcher wants mental health facility in Hillcrest, not condos

Nathan Fletcher wants to help people with mental health issues by building new facility in Hillcrest.
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District 4 Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said on Monday that he will implore his fellow board members to support converting some county-owned property on the outskirts of Hillcrest into behavioral health services buildings instead of proposed condominiums.

Located on the hillside at 4307 Third Ave., the single-story buildings which were originally used for youth-services are still standing despite being vacant for years. 

The location is only a stone's throw from UC San Diego Medical Center and Scripps Mercy Hospital and Fletcher would like to see mental health services take over the land. The facility would care for people with a multitude of behavioral problems including substance abuse and offer services for inpatient psychiatric care.

“The county has a moral obligation to tackle the mental health crisis in our region,” Fletcher said Monday on site. “Today, I am offering a new vision, a new model of care, to help people who suffer from behavioral health disorders. I believe the highest and best use of public land is to serve the public’s interest and am hopeful that this project will serve as a prototype that can be replicated in the four corners of our county to serve the residents of each respective region.”

Fletcher is scheduled to make his proposal at Wednesday's board meeting. His plan will reportedly include details on how to form partnerships with local health care providers.

District 3 City Councilman Chris Ward is also on board with Fletcher's idea. 

“The traumas associated with mental health issues, substance abuse, injury and chronic illness create significant challenges that must be addressed when working with homeless and unsheltered San Diegans,” said Ward.