The City of Norfolk Community Services Board (“CSB”) announced at Tuesday City Council Meeting its plans to move its Adult Psychiatric Services Unit into the Ghent neighborhood from its current location near the new Union Mission on Virginia Beach Boulevard. This is the third unit that the City of Norfolk’s Community Service Board has proposed moving into one of the most densely populated residential neighborhoods in our City. The Adult Psychiatric Medical Services Unit includes the CSB pharmacy and medications management services for patients. The Psychiatric Services Unit would be moved to the City of Norfolk CSB leased building at 225 W. Olney Road which is directly across the street from an elementary school and homes. As with the previous proposals, the decision came without input from impacted homeowners, parents, or community members. With City of Norfolk CSB officials citing reasons of “convenience” of the location, this plan is another step towards the previously disclosed vision of the City of Norfolk’s Community Service Board, Sentara and EVMS to create a psychiatric campus within our Ghent neighborhood, a plan that has been met with widespread disbelief and strong community opposition.
Also announced on Tuesday was Sentara, EVMS and City of Norfolk’s Community Service Board’s plan to relocate the Regional Crisis Center to an alternative location on the EVMS/Sentara campus. The City of Norfolk’s Planning Director has stated that the new location does not require a rezoning. The current Regional Crisis Center is on Tidewater Drive near Southern Shopping Center. The current center provides crisis intervention services to patients from throughout southeastern Virginia. A taxpayer funded facility operated by the City of Norfolk, only 35% of its patients this past year were from Norfolk.
The City of Norfolk’s Community Services Board members are appointed by Norfolk City Council. The City of Norfolk’s Community Service Board is a mental health services agency of the City of Norfolk and its programs and budgetary plan is subject to City Council oversight and authorization. Funding is provided through City, State and Federal tax revenue.