What remains of the blighted Lincoln Behavioral Center in Youngstown, Ohio? You could either ask the rats that reside throughout its decaying walls, or you could refer to this article. I might choose the second through personal opinion. Given four years of being consumed by dilapidation, we can rule out a cleanly abandoned establishment, but instead welcome in a monument to decay; filled with history and ant problems.
Formerly Woodside Hospital; a state mental health facility, located at 800 E. Indianola Ave., later to be renamed to The Lincoln Behavioral Center at a currently unknown date.
“Center’s runaways concern neighbors”:
On Sunday, August 5, 2001 a report was filed for 30 center residents escaping from the institution. Now free to roam the streets and yards throughout the city, leaving civilians in a state of panic, fearing for their homes and safety. It was common for residents to carry police scanners with having the center located in the center of their neighborhood. Lincoln housed nearly 200 children and teens from the ages of 8-18 being placed under referral by either juvenile courts or Children Services boards from counties around the state. Federal policies prohibited the lock down of youth within the establishment, leading to employees having a very hard time keeping track of where every patient was at any given moment.
“We’re very concerned,” Makosky said. “This is very close. It’s easy [for the juveniles] to disappear into here and you never know what they’re liable to do.”
“I have had runaways in my own yard,” said Barbara Kelly, “I don’t feel there’s adequate protection. … I don’t feel they’re adequately watched.”
In the year of 2000, police had responded to the facility over 200 times, and at least 30 of those calls involved runaways. Of these 200 calls, 16 arrests were made. Teen patients would leave through unlocked doors, and hop the barbed-wire fences surrounding the perimeter. However, besides the calls responding to runaways many others were in reference to fistfights or simply just residents becoming angry and unruly. In this same year, Lincoln Behavioral served about 1,000 children. Children and teenagers could have been admitted for a number of instances including domestic violence, car thefts, sex offenders, or they may have been truant from school. Few patients had committed actual felonies. During the year of 2008, 70 youths were moved out of the facility. They were loaded into large, white vans at 10 a.m. And returned to the counties from where they originally were sent. This information was documented by a reporter who was then very quickly ordered off of the property. A scrambled mess of old medication bottles, restraints, patient records, and patient beds have been left behind, scattered through its floors. Drawings and paintings from children remain where they were placed on walls while decay and destruction surround them on the inside of this brick giant.
A strange coincidence here is some comments that have been posted on the internet in connection with the many runaway cases. As was stated by Fred Parsons he recalled a time when a runaway was staying in an abandoned house. The teen was seen peeking through windows and finally asked some community members for a ride home. Teenage patients have been found walking along freeways in an attempt to get home, even if it was as far away as Cleveland. A Youngstown Detective Sgt. Sam Scott had also stated that many of them seem most interested in just getting home. Below are comments pulled from the internet on a post referring to the closing of the facility.
“Finally! Lincoln Behavioral Healthcare, LLC has been closed. Wow! That is awesome. I feel sorry for the employees because they will have a hard time finding a job in the Youngstown area. But on another note, they probably will be treated better somewhere else. The food that those residents were subjected to eat was a disgrace. Dog and Cat food looked better and more edible. The living environment was poor. Molded walls, no air, old furniture, terrible flip flops were given to them to wear. No coats for the residents in the winter time. They would have gotten better treatment in jail…. at least they would have been warm with option to purchase food items. Have you ever seen the movie, ” The devil’s advocate”? Good movie……similar individual in the movie.”
“My heart goes out to all the employees affected by this lay-off. They have families, bills and additional living expenses that will be greatly affected by this. The truth is Carl Vaccar, CEO lives in a 1million dollar home, two-story car garage, RV, 2 Harley Davidson Motorcycles, Show cars, etc. He never invested any funds into the building. The building living environment was not fit for a rat to live in. He and his wife are guilty of using those innocent children as pawns to support their life style. They proclaim to be Christians but we know Christians don’t lie nor steal money from people. He has been getting away with this for years and it finally caught up with him. Thank God. God said, “Venegance is mine”.
Given this information in a large chunk it could make most sit back and wander their mind as to everything that went on within the walls of this now empty building.