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Behavioral Health Center to launch in Old Hillyard Library

The former Hillyard Public Library
Spokane County
The former Hillyard Public Library

The Spokane City Council will decide tonight on a $500,000 investment into a new behavioral health clinic in the building that previously was the Hillyard Library.

The behavioral health clinic will be adjacent to the Northeast Community Center, and the newly constructed Shaw Middle School and Hillyard library. Dave Richardson, Executive Director of the community center, says mental health support, is a growing need among youth, and was identified as a top issue in a survey of Northeast Spokane community members.

“The whole concept of the campus was to blur the line to allow youth to come across for dental appointments, or sports physicals or mental health,” he said. “That concept is something that we're continuing to grow and expand, so I think this mental health clinic provides another opportunity for shared services."

Samantha Clark, Assistant Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at MultiCare Behavioral Health, says the clinic will serve clients of all ages, and will provide both mental health and substance use services. She says the clinics will accept people who are under Medicaid coverage, and will provide other options for people facing financial hardship.

Richardson said the remodeling and start up costs for the clinic is a little more than $1.8 million. The Community Center an MultiCare have already pledged a combined $700,000.

Spokane City Council will decide on whether to contribute $500,000 to the project during their 6 p.m. meeting tonight, and the remainder of the funding is currently under consideration in the state legislature.

Richardson says he hopes the clinic will open in 2023.

Reporter's Note: This story was corrected on March 1, 2022 to correct Dave Richardson's name.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.