Ozark Center dedicates pre-adult transitional housing

Thursday, April 29, 2010 - Ozark Center dedicates pre-adult transitional housing

Ozark Center and Freeman Health System staff and board members and community supporters gathered on April 28, 2010 to celebrate opening the Ozark Center PATH (Pre-adult Transitional Housing) to Independence Program.

PATH will provide a housing option to young adults ages 17 through 21 who have a mental illness. Once individuals exit the foster care system or mental health residential system, they often have nowhere to go and no knowledge of how to make it in adult society. PATH seeks to change patterns for the young adults in this program by offering this transitional housing opportunity, as well as services to help them adjust to adult life and teach them how to effectively cope with mental illness.
 
Ozark Center CEO Paula Baker explains, “There is a great need for housing and services for young adults with mental illnesses. PATH will give them safe, affordable housing in a setting designed to maximize their efforts at independent living.”
 
The program requires each tenant to contribute a minimum of 30 percent of his or her income toward rent; participate in program activities, education, employment, or community service for 40 hours per week; and save money to support independent living goals. 

Services at PATH include basic life-skill building; personal finances assistance; housekeeping; interpersonal-skill building; decision making and stress management; GED preparation, postsecondary training, or vocational education; assistance with job preparation, career counseling, and job placement; attainment of a driver’s license; Social Security card and birth certificate assistance; education, information, and counseling to prevent, treat, and reduce substance abuse; mental healthcare, including individual and group counseling and in-home community support services; and assistance with Medicaid
health benefits and physical healthcare.

Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation recently presented a check to PATH for $16,000 to purchase furniture and furnishings for the housing units.
 
A $350,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Mental Health made construction of the facility possible.

 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 more information, visit ozarkcenter.com or call 417.347.7600.

For media inquires, please contact Freeman Media Coordinator