The Link Community Triage Center announces opening time frame, thanks to charitable gift

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Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 5:30 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Helmsley Charitable Trust is announcing a $500,000 grant for The Link Community Triage Center in the heart of Sioux Falls. After eight years of planning and research, directors now have a timeframe, opening in early 2021.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, along with members of Avera Health, Sanford Health, Minnehaha, and Lincoln Counties and the City of Sioux Falls jointly made the announcement today.

"The link will serve those in our communities who are experiencing behavioral health and addiction challenges and need to get triaged or linked to the right places to help with those challenges," said Mayor TenHaken.

Knowing where to get help for someone with substance abuse or mental health needs can sometimes be confusing. David Flicek, President & CEO, Avera McKennan Hospital, says quite often the person is brought to a Sioux Falls emergency room.

"It's a safe place at times but it's not the right spot. The Link is where they really can come and get access to services to bridge them into the community," said Flicek.

Board members, including Paul Hanson, Regional CEO of Sanford Health, talked of their own families’ struggles.

"I lost my mother to alcohol addiction, and I tried everything I possibly could. We had the resources to provide her some great care, but it just wasn't enough to beat the demon," said Hanson.

Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead is grateful for another resource to help intervene when someone is in crisis, and before circumstances worsen.

"It's a place they can get help before they end up in a situation that lands them in the criminal justice system or in jail," said Milstead.

More than referrals from law enforcement and the medical community, Project Director Steve Lindquist says the facility will welcome anyone.

"We hope that a lot will come just from people themselves, wanting to seek help," said Lindquist.

The uniqueness of the launch of The Link Community Triage Center is that so many groups worked together to make it happen.

"That's probably been one of the most rewarding parts is seeing the synergy from all those groups working together for the single goal," said Mayor TenHaken.

Although the $500,000 will not complete their fundraising goals, it gives them the confidence to move forward with renovations.

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