I mentioned this to a person who is rather pro homeless shelter yesterday and discussed the failure of the police to respond to similar recent incidents and rather than show much empathy and concern for the victims of recent harassment, I was quickly dismissed. It was the victims' fault for not calling the right emergency number.
We have a problem in town and it is getting worse and about to get much worse. And I have to wonder, why it is suddenly hitting critical mass?
Crestwood Behavioral Health Center, located in the once proud building known as Fallbrook Hospital, have escaped the facility on occasion and roamed the town.
Now, that couldn't be true, we were assured at its inception that the facility was ably staffed, posed no danger to Fallbrook and was locked down as tight as a drum.
But I had to wonder, could these whacked out miscreants who have been creating problems of late be somehow connected to Crestwood? Unfortunately I still don't have that answer.
My interest was piqued however and I started asking around. If there was an escapee, would we in town be notified? Or would only the sheriff be notified? Would the sheriff tell us if he or she knew? Is there a written or unwritten protocol or alert system in place in case people do leave the facility without permission? Nobody knows. Personally, I think that the people of Fallbrook deserve an answer to these questions and should not be left in the dark.
I did a little extra curricular research this morning and found an anonymous person who works inside the facility who was willing to spill.
Yes, according to this source, people have broken out of the building, repeatedly. Apparently there are seventeen separate exits and the Fire Marshall will not let some of them be sealed or fixed for reasons of safety. The escapes have been mostly promulgated by either a single individual or a small number of individuals. I don't know about their mental state or capacity to harm others. Morale among staff is very low and they are getting a lot of turnover, apparently. Doesn't sound like an ideal situation for Fallbrook.
Now it is irresponsible to conflate our nascent homeless population with the mental health population. But the question does beg to be asked, who exactly are we dealing with on our streets, when patients have the ability to find their way outside? Does this private facility have any responsibility or accountability to our community? Online evaluation statements by Crestwood employees are not exactly glowing.
So there are a lot of questions raised. Who is getting out, if anyone, how often has it happened, how long were they at large, are they a danger to the community and why aren't we the citizenry finding out about it? And exactly what kind of supervision is in place for these patients and is it effective? What exactly is going on up on East Elder?