Freeman News

Ozark Center Celebrates Decade of Providing Safe, Affordable Housing

September 27, 2017

Magnolia Heights serves individuals with chronic mental illness.

Ozark Center, an entity of Freeman Health System, celebrated 10 years of providing safe, affordable housing at Magnolia Heights. Opened in 2007, the 23-unit complex provides a bridge to independent living for individuals with chronic mental illness.

“Individuals with chronic mental illness often find themselves homeless or living in substandard conditions,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “Magnolia Heights provides a safe environment where individuals can seek treatment and move toward more independent living.”

Tenants are referred to Magnolia Heights by caseworkers or by any behavioral healthcare provider. Individuals have the opportunity to receive services from Ozark Center during their stay.

Ozark Center began providing housing for adult clients in 1991 with a 15-bed residential care facility, Ozark Oaks. Since then, services expanded to include safe and affordable housing options for independent and semi-independent individuals who suffer from chronic illness. Those facilities include Cedar Hill, Magnolia Heights and Poplar Place.

In 2010, Missouri Department of Mental Health awarded Ozark Center funds to build an apartment complex to provide housing for pre-adult and transitional youths ages 17 to 22. The Pre-Adult Transitional Housing (PATH) apartments provide a safe living environment for transitional youths to learn the skills necessary for independent living. A second PATH complex was constructed in 2013.

Additionally, Ozark Center offers Turnaround Ranch, a 72-bed residential treatment facility for adolescents ages 10 to 18. It provides 24-hour care for youths who are experiencing emotional and behavioral problems.

Ozark Center was named the 2016 Outstanding Performer for Housing Development by Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Behavioral Health. This award recognizes more than 30 years of dedication to providing supportive and affordable housing solutions to individuals seeking mental health treatment.

About Ozark Center

An integral component of Freeman Health System based in Joplin, Mo., 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 or call 417.347.7600.

About Freeman Health System
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2017, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. The Leapfrog Group awarded Freeman the highest grade possible in the Spring 2017 Hospital Patient Safety Score. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 70 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit