A grant from the United Way for Jackson & George Counties will fund the addition of 16 beds to the Home of Grace’s male chemical dependency program — a response to state cuts in mental health funding.
The Mississippi Department of Mental Health recently announced the reduction of more than 30 beds in its state hospitals, including the entire male chemical dependency program at the State Hospital at Whitfield, in response to more than $8 million in state budget cuts.
The United Way $17,000 grant will allow the Home of Grace, a faith-based recovery program in Vancleave, to convert an office into a 16-bed unit so the program can take in more men. Clay Barton, development director, said that would mean their rotating program can serve 64 more men a year.
“We haven’t seen the effects of the cuts yet,” Barton said. “What we’re doing is only a small portion of that amount that was cut, but hopefully in some way it will help.”
We can’t wait to see the number of lives transformed because of this project.
Josh Barton, Home of Grace executive director
The beds are not free at Home of Grace, but scholarships from community donations cut the cost of attending the program to $2,500.
Since 2003, one of eight cottages in the men’s unit has since served as an administrative office. The grant provided the means to convert the building into living-space by rerouting cables and completely furnishing each of its four rooms with commercial-grade furniture.
“We can’t wait to see the number of lives transformed because of this project,” said Home of Grace Executive Director Josh Barton. “We are immensely grateful to United Way for giving us this opportunity to help even more men struggling with addiction.”
United Way and the staff will celebrate the conversion on Thursday morning at Home of Grace.
The Home of Grace has served the Coast since 1965 as a nonprofit reaching more than 40,000 men and women.
Dedication for the new unit
When: 10:30 a.m. Thursday
Where: 14200 Jericho Road, Vancleave
Details: Public is invited