Fox Valley Initiative to celebrate victories on decriminalizing mental illness and addiction, other issues

Meeting in St. Charles will also map out next steps

ST. CHARLES – Members of the Fox River Valley Initiative and allies will gather from 4 to 5:30 p.m. March 15 in the fellowship hall at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1145 N. Fifth Ave., St. Charles, to celebrate issue victories and advance next steps in decriminalizing mental illness and addiction, reducing gun violence and expanding affordable housing, according to a news release.

Those participating include State Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain, Kane County Chief Judge Clint Hull, Amita Health Mercy Medical Center President Richard Roehr and Amita Health Behavioral Health President Clay Ciha.

The work of FRVI is accomplished because of the dedication of ordinary citizens who see the importance of churches, non-profits and associations uniting together to work for change, the release stated.

This past year, the work of the group increased the Medicaid reimbursement rate at the state level to cover hospital based Crisis Stabilization Units – a place to go in a mental health crisis; broke ground on 48 units of affordable housing at 1212 Larkin Ave. in Elgin; pushed for the inclusion of $200 million in affordable housing dollars in the state's capital budget; and Hain became one of the first in the nation to join the Do Not Stand Idly By Gun Safety Consortium — our market-based approach to reducing gun violence.

The event is a moment to celebrate those successes, map out the next steps and work for more results.