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ARC of Harrison County, facing financial difficulty, shuts down

By Robin Y. Richardson , Glenn Evans
April 3, 2017 at 11:30 p.m.
Updated April 4, 2017 at 3:09 p.m.

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MARSHALL — Monday began a new chapter for clients of the ARC of Harrison County as they began transitioning to new services after last week's closure of their longtime facility.

"They're not saying goodbye to a program; they're saying goodbye to a facility," said board member and Acting Executive Director Kaye Page.

For more than three decades, ARC's day habilitation center and workshop provided enrichment, community inclusion, vocational training and piecework opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The 2005 Warren Drive location ceased to operate Friday, however, because of a lack of funding. Page said the closure would be an adjustment for its 17 clients, who are transitioning into other agency's programs.

"It's just stepping through another door," she said.

Most will be stepping through the door of Community HealthCore, the Longview regional mental authority, which began preparing last month for the Marshall ARC to close.

"We met with individuals and their families a couple of weeks ago," said Angela Taylor, Community HealthCore's director for intellectual, developmental and disability programs.

The families were shown Community HealthCore's list of all area service providers and asked to select one.

"Of the 17 (in the Marshall program), 14 have selected Community HealthCore to attend their morning day-hab," Taylor said, adding that two of the remaining three simply chose to stay home while the third is wrestling with funding and is at home for now.

"And all (the other) 14 started on Monday, so there has not been a break in service for any of them."

Page noted Community HealthCore's facility, now on Alamo Street, was housed inside ARC's building for many years. She said she and other ARC officials were grateful to have programs in the community for clients to benefit from.

"It would have been devastating if we had had to close the building and discontinued the program if they had not had a place to go," Page said.

While financial difficulties befell its counterpart in Marshall, an official with the ARC of Gregg County said Monday that the Longview nonprofit group is in good financial shape.

"We are actually doing great," said Director of Development and Employment Services Shannon Carithers. "We've still got all our programs that we had before, and we've also started doing employment services."

Carithers said the ARC of Gregg County also was ready to serve Harrison County clients if they choose to come.

"Some of them might be having to come here in Longview," she said. "If any of them want to come to the ARC of Gregg County, we definitely have openings in our day-hab facility and our coffee shop."

Trustee Rusty Rustenhaven said the Harrison County ARC board would remain active for another month or two to wrap up business of the longtime agency.

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