Bridge Center opening delayed due to licensing issues
BATON ROUGE- Three weeks after organizers showed off the bright and shiny facility that was supposed to be the answer to Baton Rouge's mental health crisis, a licensing issue has the facility unable to open.
The facility will operate under three different licenses: crisis receiving, behavior health, and an arrested unit.
"We are doing something that's never been done in the State of Louisiana," Executive Director of the Bridge Center, Charlotte Claiborne said. "There is not another crisis receiving center in this entire state. When you do something for the first time, you have to keep in mind there's going to be some hiccups."
Claiborne said they've been working with the Department of Health all of last year to obtain the proper licenses. However, there have been some revisions that needed to be made to their applications before those licenses could be issued. The center can not open until the licenses are obtained.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office said since the facility was opened for public tours on December 16, 2020, there have been 68 orders for protective custody in East Baton Rouge Parish. They estimate about one-third of those people would have gone to the Bridge Center if it had been open.
"Our phones have been ringing off the hook," Claiborne said. "Which we have been trying to provide other services with our community that can help and assist. Capital Area, Volunteers of America, and other organizations that can help these individuals while we are still in that process.
Claiborne hopes the state will issue the licenses to operate this month.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Parents say Baton Rouge police took 20 minutes to respond to potential...
'It's a long time coming': Iberville Parish President pleased with potential bridge...
In wake of two boating fatalities, Pointe Coupee officials hoping for safe...
Some hurricane plans to change in Tangipahoa after Ida
Location for new bridge narrowed down to three options, all in Iberville...
Southern baseball walks off Jackson State in SWAC Tournament
Southern baseball wins game one 21-2 over Alcorn
VIDEO: Former Saints and Tiger Devery Henderson talks about the difference between...
New NCAA rules tweak opens door for more SEC dominance
VIDEO: Devery Henderson Talk about Bluegrass Miracle and the Saints "Rebirth game"