BELTON, Texas (FOX 44) – Bell County’s vision of a Diversion Center is one step closer to becoming a reality.

According to Public Information Officer James Stafford, county officials announced the purchase of the former Luvida Memory Care building on Wednesday. The buidling is located on Loop 121, near the Bell County Jail Complex in Belton.

Stafford says the mission of the Diversion Center is to provide an option for law enforcement agencies and hospitals dealing with individuals experiencing mental health crises. In the past, these patients were usually transported to either a hospital emergency department or the Bell County Jail. During some stages of planning for the Diversion Center, county officials considered constructing a new facility to meet the need.

The vacant long-term care facility will require minor renovations. Once this work is complete, the Diversion Center is set to open in September 2023. The initial plan is for it to house both a mental health triage area and a 16-bed crisis residential center. Central Counties Services will be the provider of the crisis assessment and residential services at the facility.

This project is a partnership between Bell County, Central Counties Services, Baylor Scott & White and AdventHealth Central Texas.