Operation Rio Grande – one year later
Posted by Ben McAdams
August 15, 2018
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When I joined state and city leaders to launch Operation Rio Grande one year ago, I said we cannot jail our way out the problem. Now, a year later, in-patient residential treatment for drug abuse and mental illness has expanded by 243, people who were once on the street are now in safe, affordable sober living housing, and our community is safer.
There is still more work to do, more challenges ahead. One thing we know for sure, is that those who have accepted help and stuck with it, are getting back on their feet and rejoining society.
My team and I continue to expand treatment options and work to remove barriers that can prevent people from regaining self-reliance. We work with the behavioral health treatment providers, the courts, law enforcement, and state and local leaders. People who once thought they were destined to die on the street are getting housing, jobs, and reuniting with loved ones. Our work is not only compassionate, it also saves tax dollars. It is cheaper to provide treatment than for those same individuals to cycle in and out of jail.
More on Operation Rio Grande
Photo caption: Mayor McAdams with Emily and Beth who were arrested in Operation Rio Grande, and Beth’s daughter Kelsey. Emily and Beth are both in treatment and have stable jobs.
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