Breaking Ground, Breaking Down Barriers in West St. Paul

Nov 3, 2023

On October 3 we broke ground on our much-anticipated Crisis and Recovery Center in West Saint Paul, built on the same grounds as the Dakota County Northern Service Center. It will include a 16-bed Intensive Residential Treatment Service (IRTS), Crisis Residential Service (CRS) run by Guild, as well as a 24 hour Mental health assessment and crisis service run by Dakota County. Our plan is to begin welcoming clients in early 2025.

The need for supported housing and mental health services is at crisis level right now. In Minnesota, there’s a shortage of mental health workers and psychiatric beds, and barriers to finding outpatient mental health care. This facility aims to address these urgent needs for people requiring mental health treatment in their home community.

“It really does take folks at the very darkest moments in their lives, when they need to be closest to their families, and it keeps them close to home,” Dakota County Commissioner Joe Atkins said at the Oct. 3 groundbreaking event. “It gives them the sort of service that they need in order to turn the corner and move in a positive direction.”

A project this significant is only possible through compassionate and committed collaboration. Partners, neighbors, elected officials, county leaders, donors and so many concerned community members are making this project possible. This range of invested stakeholders can also help ensure project success, as investment and accountability are shared across the public-private-nonprofit partnership rather than with a single entity.

With the ground broken and construction underway, it’s time to thank all those who have got us this far:

Private Sector Partners

From project planning to building design, engineering to investment, this facility and the services it will provide wouldn’t be possible without the following companies:

Public Sector Champions

Essential services like the ones this project will offer are often catalyzed by public agencies and elected officials. We’re grateful for the creativity, collaboration and advocacy of partners at the federal, state, county and city level:

  • Congresswoman Angie Craig
  • State Senator Matt Klein
  • State Representative Mary Frances Clardy
  • Minnesota Department of Human Services Grant Coordinator Roy Murphy
  • Dakota County Commissioners Mike Slavik, Joe Atkins, Laurie Halverson, Bill Droste, Liz Workman, Mary Liz Holberg, and Mary Hamann-Roland
  • Dakota County Manager Matt Smith
  • Dakota County Social Service Staff Evan Henspeter and Emily Schug
  • Dakota County Project Managers Trish Bremer and Jay Beidny
  • West Saint Paul Mayor Dave Napier and the West Saint Paul City Council
  • West Saint Paul Police Chief Brian Sturgeon

Nonprofit Staff, Donors, Partners and Mental Health Advocates

Public-private partnerships are commonplace. What makes this project special is the breadth and depth of partners involved. Guild will operate the facility once it opens, and we’ll do so alongside the donors who fund our work, the advocacy organizations who push for expanded mental health care access, and concerned community leaders and citizens who want to see their neighbors cared for close to home. This includes:

  • Guild South staff currently providing these services
  • Guild design and community engagement teams, including Beth Scheetz, Tracy Kollwitz and Katie Helgason
  • The O’Gara Family, for making the largest single donation in Guild history to furnish and operationalize the center’s first year
  • Fellow nonprofit and mental health partners and advocates including NAMI Minnesota, South Saint Paul Mayor Jimmy Francis, and South Saint Paul Police Chief Brian Wicke

The total project budget for the Crisis and Recovery Center is $14.1 million, leveraging $4.6 million in federal funds, a nearly $3.5 million state grant, and $6 million in state bonding. The bonding request was authored by state Sen. Matt Klein and Rep. Mary Frances Clardy.

Follow along with project updates on Dakota County’s website.

Photo of the O’Gara Family with Guild leaders.