City News, ECONOMY

BUILDING SALEM: Behavioral health treatment home with 16 beds planned near Four Corners

Editor’s note: Building Salem is a new twice-monthly feature from Salem Reporter intended to highlight planned building projects around the city. Is there a building going up you’re curious about? Let us know by emailing [email protected].

Project type: New construction, residential treatment

Location: Near the intersection of Southeast Lancaster Drive and Southeast Mahrt Avenue, just east of the Roberts High School campus (Southeast Salem Neighborhood Association)

The need: Community homes allow residents to step down from hospital-level care, stabilize through individual treatment and prepare to re-enter life outside their facility.  

A recent state report found that Oregon needs around 3,000 more beds in such facilities to meet the demand for residential mental health and addiction treatment. Salem’s need for such care is unique because it is home to the Oregon State Hospital.

Cost: $8 million

Estimated completion: Summer 2025

Number of beds: 16

Description: Salem by next year could get a much-need boost to help fill its gap in residential mental health treatment.

Community First Solutions, a Turner-based developer, is in the early stages of designing a secure behavioral health facility in east Salem. 

The facility will treat people with severe and persistent mental illness, typically those stepping down from hospital-level psychiatric care, according to developer Bryce Petersen.

Developers say they hope to open a new residential behavioral health facility near the intersection of Southeast Lancaster Drive and Southeast Mahrt Avenue by summer 2025 (Community First Solutions)

Telecare Corporation, a behavioral health provider with locations in Portland and California, will operate the facility.

It will help residents with social rehabilitation, skills building, individual treatment, medication, career preparation and social work.

Most residents will be referred from county mental health programs, as well as from local hospitals’ emergency departments or inpatient psychiatric care units. 

Their length of stay will vary, but the average would be around three months, Petersen said.

The developer intends to submit plans to the city of Salem for approval in the spring. Petersen said they are currently meeting with neighbors to seek input on the facility’s design.

Correction: This story was updated to reflect the correct neighborhood association the facility would fall under. Salem Reporter apologizes for the error.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.