A treatment center for non-violent inmates dealing with substance abuse in Knox County has officially received state funding.
The state Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department awarded the county almost $3.5 million for the Behavior Health Urgent Care Center.
The short-term treatment center will treat non-violent offenders who are addicted to drugs or suffer from mental health issues.
The facility will be located at 3343 Dewine Road.
Some neighbors objected to the location but managers at the Helen Ross McNabb Center, which will operate the new facility, want to reassure the public that it will be safe and fills a desperate need in the community.
"We've really been advocating for a program like this for years because what we know is that individuals that have mental illnesses and co-occuring disorders," said Candice Allen with Helen Ross McNabb. "Often times they are incarcerated because there's simply no other place for them to go."
Knox County and the city of Knoxville approved contributing funding for the facility earlier this year.
The center is expected to open by the end of the year.