Big changes are coming to the Bill Mehr Drop-In Center in Prince William.
Following a majority vote from the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, $500,000 of county funds will be given to the center to fund an upgrade and expansion project.
The center – located at 14730 Potomac Mills Road – was opened by community member Bill Mehr in 2006 as a temporary facility to help the homeless and at-risk individuals in the county, according to the center’s website.
Following an assessment from the county’s Department of Social Services, the Cooperative Council of Ministries established the center as a permanent winter shelter site, according to the center’s website.
The center offers a range of services to in-need residents, including medical, transportation, behavioral health and housing assistance, according to a county presentation.
Several citizens were present at the last board meeting during Citizen Time, to speak on the necessity of the funding for the center.
According to a county presentation, the existing space limits the amount of services that can be provided. It also lacks private space for mental health counseling and employment training, according to a county presentation.
The $500,000 approved by the county will allow the project to be completed by winter 2016, and add 15 beds to the facility for emergency sheltering, according to a county presentation. Additionally, the funds will allow for the center to have structural upgrades, roof repair, commercial kitchen equipment installation and a security system, stated a county presentation.