So New York State Homes & Community Renewal put money into Riverview along with OMH. As a result, those OMH clients will be able to get treatment where they live, when it’s still not a crisis, rather than waiting until a crisis develops and requires emergency-room treatment.
The Homes & Community Renewal money is intended to save taxpayers money that would otherwise have to be paid through the Medicaid program.
Byrne noted that Catholic Charities will have a person on staff 24 hours a day to help the OMH clients  with not only their daily needs but also any emergency needs. With Catholic Charities providing services in the apartment building, the client will not need to go to the emergency room. “That saves us all money,” Byrne noted.
There will be other savings to society, as well, he said.
If people with a mental handicap, such as veterans with PTSD, are living on the street, society has to pay the cost for policing, for taking them in if they get in trouble, for transporting them to the ER, and for treating them in the ER.
“There are any number of expenses that hopefully will be able to be alleviated with a project like this,” Byrne said.
Byrne also mentioned Catholic Charities and Christopher Community as stars of the Riverview Project. “It is their mission to serve those in need,” he said. They both “do an excellent, excellent job.”
Byrne’s office created Christopher Community about 45 years ago, and it was Fred Zolna of Christopher Community who approached Byrne about helping with the Riverview Project. Other law firms have worked with Christopher Community in the past, and Matt Byrne’s brother, Mike, has also assisted with legal matters.
“Everybody wins with a project like this,” Matt said, “because we are serving those in need.”

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