Community Counseling Center to break ground on housing for people with mental health problems

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A new apartment complex in Cape Girardeau will provide affordable housing for people struggling with mental illness.

The Cape Girardeau Community Counseling Center will break ground at 1 p.m. Friday at 549 N. Silver Springs Road on the $1.4 million project funded by a U.S. Housing and Urban Development grant.

The 10-unit apartment complex will be available to low-income people who have mental health disabilities.

John Hudak, executive director of the Community Counseling Center, said his organization has been working on the project for three years.

"What we've found is that a real critical element of recovery is that people have to have stability in housing. If you have people bumping around from place to place or living in situations that are not very desirable, either because they're too expensive or they're substandard in some way, if those things go awry, then everything goes awry," Hudak said.

Providing safe, stable and affordable housing will foster recovery and help keep some of the center's clients living independently in the community instead of in institutions, he said.

This will be the second apartment project for the Community Counseling Center, which also worked to establish New Morning Apartments in Fredericktown, Mo.

Due to HUD subsidies, residents will pay no more than 30 percent of their monthly income to live in one of the one-bedroom, 650-square-foot units.

The apartment complex will be named the Boehme-Hinni Apartments in honor of Jeannette Boehme and Evelyn Hinni and her son, Dr. John Hinni. Both Boehme and Hinni were Perry County teachers and mental health advocates. Dr. John Hinni served as president of the Community Counseling Center for more than 10 years. During the 1990s, he helped expand mental health services through out the region.

"We have for a long time really put our focus into recovery of persons with chronic mental illness. Our whole effort has been to try to put into place services and systems that really enable people to function to their maximum capacity," Hudak said.

The Community Counseling Center provides services to more than 7,500 people annually in Cape Girardeau, Bollinger, Madison, Perry and Ste. Genevieve counties.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

549 N. Silver Springs Road, Cape Girardeau MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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