January 27, 2023, KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Klamath County Board of Commissioners has formally transferred ownership of three lots on Washburn Way to Klamath Basin Behavioral Health (KBBH). The property transfer supports KBBH’s plans to construct a 16 bed mental health Residential Treatment Facility and 4-bed Crisis Receiving Center.

Commissioner Minty believes the infrastructure project is a step in the right direction, stating “The County is pleased to partner with Klamath Basin Behavioral Health on an initiative addressing one of the most significant community needs – services for those struggling with mental health.”

Commissioner DeGroot shared his support stating, “Many of today’s challenges in meeting the public’s needs are rooted in the lack of sufficient capacity in mental health services for our population. This property transfer will facilitate expanded mental health services in Klamath County.”

725 Washburn Way is home to Phoenix Place, a licensed mental health Secure Residential Treatment Facility operated by KBBH. The adjacent lots have been vacant for over two decades and are restricted to mental health treatment through a 2009 Housing Development Grant awarded to Klamath County from the State of Oregon.

Stan Gilbert, former CEO at KBBH, long envisioned expanding mental health services at this site and initiated the property transfer request prior to his retirement in 2021. 

Kendall Alexander, current CEO at KBBH, will take the lead on a multi-million-dollar infrastructure investment expected to commence in 2023. The new Residential Treatment Facility, funded in part by an Oregon Health Authority grant, will double current residential capacity for individuals needing mental health residential or respite services. 

In addition, the facility will include a separate Crisis Receiving Center designed to divert individuals experiencing a mental health crisis from Sky Lakes Medical Center and Klamath County Corrections.

Alexander stated, “I appreciate the County’s support of our efforts to expand access to much-needed residential mental health services. The property transfer positions KBBH to better meet the mental health needs of our community, while reducing costs for our partners in the hospital and corrections systems.When complete, our overall capacity for residential, respite, and crisis receiving will increase from 16 to 36 beds and stronglysupport the nationwide implementation of 988 as a national suicide and crisis lifeline.”