News Article Details

Savannah mental illness service provider closes, seeks new partnership

Savannah Morning News - 10/12/2018

Oct. 11--Reed House, a Savannah nonprofit, has stopped providing services while it awaits state approval of a new alliance with AmericanWork, the organizations said.

Chris Williams, president of the board of directors for Reed House, said Reed House intends to continue offering rehabilitative services to people with mental illness through a clubhouse model.

"Things are not finished for Reed House. We are trying to figure out some things," Williams said.

Reed House opened in 2012, after it obtained funds from Pine Woods Retreat, a nonprofit that closed in 2011 when Coastal Harbor Treatment Center took over the program.

Reed House has plans to collaborate with AmericanWork, a for-profit provider of peer services. AmericanWork would lease the building Reed House owns at 2812 Bee Road and provide peer services there from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., allowing Reed House to provide additional services at the facility, said Patrick Waters, state director of AmericanWork.

"We're looking at partnering with the Reed House 'cause I think they have an excellent reputation of providing services to individuals with mental illness," Waters said. "As a provider of mental health service, we go through an approval process. It's a three-step process," involving three different departments at the state of Georgia, he said. "We're currently going through that process. It hasn't been completed." The press secretary for the Georgia Department of Community Health was unable to provide answers to the Savannah Morning News' questions about the approval process before deadline Thursday.

AmericanWork, which is own by Pathways, will continue to provide peer services at St. Joseph's/Candler'sMedical Arts Plaza at 836 E. 65th St. in Savannah. The location is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Waters recommends people call ahead for an appointment the first time they come.

"When you first start services we ask people to meet with our licensed clinical staff to help them talk about what their goals are and how we can help," Waters said.

A note on the door at Reed House says the facility is closed, and Dave Smith, a former treasurer of Reed House, said the organization closed its doors last week, despite its success in helping those with mental illness recover and reintegrate into the community and the workforce. Reed House has provided breakfast and lunch to people with mental illness, he said. It also helped them apply for Medicare or Medicaid and for job opportunities.

"We helped them find jobs, which was very important. This was part of their transition to a more rehabilitative life," Smith said.

Smith served on the board for several years. He said Reed House's challenge was fundraising.

Williams said the organization hopes to raise funds from donors to provide services, but it also is recruiting for an executive director. Warren Sparrow, who served as executive director since 2012, moved to North Carolina this year when his wife was offered a new job there, Williams said. The planned lease arrangement with AmericanWork would provide a regular stream of revenue to Reed House.

Besides meals and job-hunting assistance, Reed House provided a place for people to study for the GED or find low-income housing, said Jane Nangle, who served as board president in 2014 and from 2016 to the end of 2017.

"The program ought to continue, and it's my belief that it will," Nangle said.

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(c)2018 Savannah Morning News (Savannah, Ga.)

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