Marion County accepts $6M for behavioral health housing

Marion County Commissioners hold a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022 in Salem, Ore.

After threatening to turn down more than $6 million from the state to build housing for people with behavioral health issues, the Marion County Board of Commissioners turned course Wednesday and accepted the funding.

The commissioners in September discussed turning down the money as a response to the state releasing patients from the Oregon State Hospital in Salem before they had been found to be capable of helping in their own defense at trial.

That came after the hospital released individuals before they had gone to trial.

“I would tomorrow give this money back to the state to help them fix the state hospital,” Marion County Commissioner Colm Willis said. “The state has to fix that problem, and until they fix that problem, we’re going to continue to have very sick people harming themselves and others in our community.”

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