People's City Mission drop off issues - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

People's City Mission drop off issues

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By: Jenn Schanz
jschanz@klkntv.com 

Staff at the People's City Mission got a surprise Tuesday afternoon, when Beatrice Police dropped off a homeless woman.

The Mission says she appeared to have serious mental health issues, and it can't accommodate people with that problem.

But staff says more and more often, they get dropped off anyway.

"We're really not qualified to become the mental health providers to Lincoln, Nebraska. We're, we're not in that place," says Pastor Tom Barber of the People's City Mission. 

Once staff realized her condition, they say they called Beatrice Police back, who said they'd return to get her, but never showed up.

The Beatrice Police Department wouldn't give an official comment, but said that while the woman was in their custody, she seemed fine.

Pastor Tom doesn't buy it.

"The trip from Beatrice to here, I don't know, that a half hour? There's no way that person behaved sane in that police car."

Beatrice Police say they spoke to LPD, who came and picked the woman up from the Mission and took her to a facility that could help her.

The People's City Mission does have a free medical clinic where they can address general mental health needs, but for severe mental health issues, Pastor Tom says they're just not equipped.

He says 30 percent of his guests at the Mission have mental health needs, it was only 5 percent when he started back in 2004.

"So it's not saying we're not willing to take on mental health as a homeless problem. But it depends on what kind of mental health. When you get to severe, almost psychotic mental health, the Mission is really not the place for it."

According to the Lincoln Police Department, when they encounter a person exhibiting behavior that could be harmful to themselves or others, they call a special agency for assistance called Single Point of Entry. From there, they determine where the individual should be taken for help. It's often the Crisis Center, or a hospital. 

 

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