By Michele Owen, Director of Communications, City of Muncie—
MUNCIE, IN—The former Workman’s Bar, at 8th and Hoyt, has sat empty for years. Now, the Thomas Park Avondale neighborhood is about to be beautified with a renovated facility. The City of Muncie, IU Health, City Council, and many other community partners have been collaborating since 2021 to design a solution to mental health and substance abuse needs. The result is the Muncie Crisis Center, a 24-hour facility that will provide a safe place for people to go when they are experiencing severe needs.
The staff, which will be provided by IU Ball Memorial Hospital’s Behavior Health Services, will be trained in de-escalation, immediate care, and referral. Before, individuals experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis would be taken to the emergency room or to jail. The Crisis Center will help these individuals address immediate needs and take the next step towards recovery.
Delaware Advancement Corp., or DAC, has agreed to complete the purchase of the former Workman’s Bar. The initial purchase agreement allowed the City to have access to the building, so that architectural work could begin. A preliminary mock up of the design shows a beautiful, functional facility, and work is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
“This project meets so many needs for our city,” commented Mayor Ridenour. “The Crisis Center itself will provide critical services for our neighbors in need, and reduce strain on the police and emergency room staff. It also restores a vacant building to something that can be useful and beautiful instead of an eyesore.”
Bids for construction will be going out shortly, and work is scheduled to begin this summer. The Crisis Center is expected to be fully operational by spring of 2024.
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