America continues to battle the opioid crisis and other drug addictions and that fight includes dozens of agencies right here KELOLAND.
Now they’re teaming up to build South Dakota’s very first triage center. While it’s been in the making for a few years, they finally think they’ve found the perfect location.
This city owned building at the corner of 8th and Main used to house public health, but now the city hopes to turn it into the state’s first triage center that’ll be equipped with registered nurses, licensed counselors and other professionals.
“This is a great neighborhood to have these types of services, it’s nice to be centrally located and I don’t think it sends a better message than for it to be in city hall’s backyard to have services like this,” Jill Franken Director of Public Health said.
Think of the triage center as the 211 Helpline, but only a physical location where people can walk-in and get triaged to various resources.
“I talk to so many people, Don, who have been in a situation where they’ve lost a loved one due to addiction issues, and what they always tell me it’s really hard to navigate that system,” Franken said.
They’re hoping it’ll be much easier to navigate once the triage center is up and running, but that’s another unanswered question.
“It hasn’t been determined, yet, who will actually operate it or if it’ll be a county or city facility or if we’ll go out for RFP and award a contract to a non-profit or someone else to operate the center,” Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said.
Sheriff Milstead does know it’s going to help people and stop clogging the emergency rooms and county jail cells. But he admits it’s not going to completely solve our opioid crisis.
“I’d like to think it’s that easy, but it’s not,” Milstead said.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions as to what this triage center is going to look like in the end. They’re hoping to have it up and running about one year from now.