Who We Are
Lake County United is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of civil society institutions: Churches, synagogues, mosques, civic and labor groups. Formed in April of 2003 our member organizations commit both dues and leaders (based on their size) to work for a just society through active citizenship. Our membership is growing and is open to all who share our goals.
As a broad based citizens organization we build relationships across Lake County, identify community concerns and needs and work together as a united power for human dignity, social justice and the greater good. In particular we encourage conversation across religious, ethnic, economic, generational, and political lines believing that it is possible to create a shared vision for the county. And we are realists about power: The ability to translate the hopes and interests of our members into action and results.
July 2015 Update
The evening of Thursday, June 18th over 250 citizens gathered as part of Lake County United with a focus on mental health, especially on three issues: Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training, a Crisis Care Center, and more Supportive Housing.
Many stories of those impacted by mental health and research findings were shared by leaders of Lake County United representing over 30 member institutions (including Mosques, Synagogues, Churches and non-profits).
Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawler and Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim attended and made commitments to work to identify resources to address these needs. The plan, drawn up in concert with Lake County United and a number of County Official agencies has the potential to save the county thousands of dollars annually, divert people from jail and inappropriate housing into community based treatment, and potentially save lives.
The cost of not taking action on these Urgent Issues:
- Each person diverted from jail saves the county approximately $150 per day.
- A Crisis Care Center will save the county 80% of the cost of jail for each person served and reduces health and emergency costs by 73%
- Supportive Housing reduces costs of providing services for those most at risk from approximately $40,000 annually to approximately $11,000.
- CIT training gives mental health crisis training for law enforcement officers. It helps officers recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, and provides skills to de-escalate crisis situations. We strongly recommend hiring a CIT coordinator that relates to all Lake County police departments and sheriff's staff to increase the number of CIT trained officers across the county and to track data.
- A Crisis Care Center, a place where officers can bring people in crisis, rather than to jail or hospital emergency rooms. People are stabilized; they may get a psychiatric evaluation, counseling and medication, referrals to longer-term treatment if needed. There are residential treatment beds for up to 14 days. 80% return to the community. No one goes to jail. This has to happen immediately so the newly trained CIT officers have a place to divert.
- Supportive Housing combines affordable housing with services that enable people to live with stability, autonomy and dignity. Supportive housing helps build strong, healthy communities and improves the safety of neighborhoods.
Leaders of Lake County United want to invite you to actively participate in meetings below as a follow up to the June 18th Action Assembly.
- Mental Health Team Meeting: July 16th, from 5:00- 6:15pm at Holy Cross Lutheran, Libertyville.
- Education Team Meeting: July 22nd, from 6:30-7:30pm at Christ Episcopal Church, Waukegan.
- Housing Team Meeting: July 23rd, from 1:00-2:00pm at Church of the Holy Spirit, Lake Forest.
- Upcoming 1.5 Day Training: TBD
For more information please contact Lindsay Crawford at Lncrawford14@gmail.com
See previous editions of Update in the Update Archive.