Ozark Center breaks ground on new apartments

Thursday, February 25, 2010 - Ozark Center breaks ground on new apartments

JOPLIN, Mo.—On Thursday, February 25, 2010, Freeman Health System and Ozark Center celebrated the groundbreaking of Poplar Place apartment complex. Poplar Place, located on West 32nd Street, two blocks from the Schifferdecker Avenue intersection, will consist of 15 one-bedroom apartments for adults diagnosed with chronic mental illnesses. The unit will also have a fulltime resident manager. A community room for on-site training, education, and community meetings is also included in the plans.

In January 2009, southwest Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt announced Ozark Center would receive a $1.543 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to build this facility. HUD’s 811 grant program allows persons with disabilities to live as independently as possible in the community by increasing the supply of rental housing with the availability of supportive services. According to Blunt, “This facility will provide the professional support services necessary to allow their residents the opportunity to live a more independent lifestyle. I’m glad the Department of Housing and Urban Development recognized the need for these services in Joplin.”

Ozark Center CEO Paula Baker explained, “There is a great need to serve people with disabilities and mental illnesses who often have limited incomes and have trouble holding a job. Poplar Place will give them safe, affordable housing in a setting designed to maximize their efforts at employment and independent living.”

Poplar Place apartment complex will be located on land owned by Freeman Health System. Jay McConnell, Kansas City, serves as general contractor. Poplar Place completion expected December 2010.

About Ozark Center
An integral component of Freeman Health System based in Joplin, Missouri, Ozark Center provides comprehensive behavioral health services to children, adults, and families in an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Ozark Center continually looks for innovative ways to address the mental health needs of the community and promote awareness of mental illness in an effort to eliminate the discrimination associated with it.

For media inquiries, please contact Freeman Media Coordinator.