This Charlotte mental health center could help fix spiking juvenile crime, committee says

A Charlotte City Council committee endorsed funding a new mental health treatment facility for young people Thursday as part of a multi-year, multi-million-dollar plan to combat juvenile crime.

The council’s Housing, Safety and Community Committee voted unanimously to move to the full council a proposal to put $2.5 million into the Katie Blessing Center — a planned facility that would offer inpatient and outpatient mental health care to young people — as part of the city budget currently being debated.

It was one of six recommendations presented Thursday to the committee by city staff, who worked since February to develop a strategy to address juvenile crime rates. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police reported an uptick in youth violence in 2023, and a shooting on New Year’s Eve in uptown spurred calls for action from council members and the community.

On Thursday, committee members largely supported all the recommendations, praising staff for taking an holistic approach to addressing violence.

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