Because it's budget time and approaching the end of the year, various organizations come to ask for donations from their town governments.
Last Thursday, Ed Hagins, clinical program manager, thanked the Town of Hotchkiss for its annual support of The Center for Mental Health.
He asked the council for its continued help as they serve the mental health needs and substance use disorders in the community. The center provides emergency services for people in crisis. It helps people who are suicidal and suffering with psychosis.
The center also provides help with fees for those patients needing assistance. It has two programs — a sliding fee scale and a new program for the uninsured. The uninsured benefit package was implemented earlier this year in response to the "overwhelming need we were seeing throughout the six counties with people who are unemployed due to the economy, fewer dollars in people's pockets due to the economy," Hagins explained.
The center writes off about half a million dollars each year for services provided to those who are indigent, typically within 300 percent of the national poverty level.
With the new package, regardless of the household size, if the household income is about $18,000 or less, the center will provide care for $5 per service. A typical cost to see a psychiatrist is $158.
The program has been running for six months and has been successful, Hagins said.
The Center for Mental Health has its headquarters in Montrose, with an office in Delta and access to a health and human services office in Hotchkiss. Currently, Hagins said, there are a number of Hotchkiss clients who are being served out of the Delta office in the substance abuse program or the mental health program.
Sixty-five percent of their mental health clients and about 40 percent of those in the substance abuse program are on some type of fee reduction.
The center is not funded by the state and federal governments other than being a Medicaid member. They are priced "not for profit."
Since 2009, the Town of Hotchkiss has donated $500 a year to the center. The town council approved that same amount for this year.
A second donation request came from the Hotchkiss High School Chapter of the FFA for its annual Halloween Party for kids held at Heritage Hall at the Delta County Fairgrounds. The party will be Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 5-7 p.m. There is no charge for the party. Those in pre-school to fifth grade are invited. In the past, 250 to 300 children have participated and 1,000 total people attended. Kids receive prizes and treats.
Mayor Wendell Koontz read from the FFA's letter at the Oct. 12 council meeting, "We believe tradition should be followed and we would like to be part of that tradition. The party originated in 1949 and has been hosted by various organizations."
Because almost 4,000 prizes are needed for the party, the FFA requested a donation from the town. In 2010, the Town of Hotchkiss gave $250 and $100 in 2011. This year, the council approved $250.
Hotchkiss Marshal Dan Miller said the party gives kids something to do on Halloween night and "keeps the 'TP'ing down." That's when kids decorate yards with toilet paper.
The marshal's office will also be out in force giving kids treats and lighted bracelets on Halloween night to make sure kids stay safe.blog comments powered by Disqus