Assembly Speaker tours Dutchess Stabilization Center, hemp production farm

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie talks with Assemblywoman Didi Barrett and Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro while at the Stabilization Center in Poughkeepsie

TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE – State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was in the Hudson Valley again on Tuesday, visiting the Dutchess County Stabilization Center in Poughkeepsie and Hudson Hemp at Old Mud Creek Farm in Columbia County.

Assemblywoman Didi Barrett (D, Hudson) led the tour for her caucus leader.

Barrett, along with State Senator Susan Serino (R, Hyde Park) was instrumental in securing funding to establish the groundbreaking center, according to Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

The center operates 24-hours a day, year-round to provide services that address acute mental health and substance abuse concerns.  The center has become the model for similar centers around the country, according to Molinaro.  The county executive did acknowledge that those in need of assistance on the eastern end of the county, along the Route 22 corridor, have difficulty obtaining the services needed.

To assist county residents on the east side of the county, Molinaro and Barrett are lobbying Heastie for funding to provide a mobile unit for the Harlem Valley corridor.

“I’m very cognizant of the fact that a lot of my district doesn’t have access to Poughkeepsie,” said Barrett as she pressed Heastie for financial support.  The speaker indicated that he is working to remove the stigma associated with seeking mental health services.

“We want to encourage people who need help and services, to get help the services they need, but in order to get the services; you have to provide the services,” Heastie said.

Molinaro stressed the need for funding to expand the vital services offered by Dutchess County while Barrett said she was “hoping to find a way to fund some mobile units that would really address the parts of my district that aren’t as accessible.”  The estimated cost for the mobile unit is $250,000.