SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Wednesday a large funding gift was given to a community project that’s been in the works for a few years now in downtown Sioux Falls. That project is a community triage center aimed to help people dealing with substance abuse and mental health.
“In February of 2021, we plan to open the doors to The Link, what many of you have come to know as the Community Triage Center. The Link will serve those in our communities who are experiencing behavioral health and addiction challenges and need to get triaged, or linked, to the right places to help with those challenges,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said.
Wednesday, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announced a $500,000 gift to The Link.
“We are so pleased to partner with the City of Sioux Falls, the counties of Lincoln and Minnehaha County, Sanford and Avera to address the problem of substance abuse and mental health on our most vulnerable populations in Sioux Falls,” Walter Panzirer with The Helmsley Charitable Trust said.
That money will go towards construction costs for The Link, which will be located on North Dakota Avenue in the former City Annex building.
“The goal is, let’s break that cycle. Let’s break the cycle of substance abuse and by getting them in a place like The Link, the people will learn about treatment options and The Link will help them get set up to break the cycle of addiction,” Panzirer said.
Paul Hanson, the President and CEO of Sanford Health, says this project holds a personal importance to him.
“I lost my mother to alcohol addiction. I tried everything I possibly could. We had the resources to provide her some great care, but it just wasn’t enough to beat the demon. For me, this is very personal. It’s an opportunity for us to make an investment within our community to help those, you know, in some small way, in my mind, it’s helping my mom again. I don’t know if you can understand that or appreciate that, but for me, that’s what it’s all about,” Hanson said.
The Link will offer urgent care for things like detox and sobering services as well as short-term treatment for addictions.