Gibson Center closes Bollinger County facility

Thursday, June 14, 2012

MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- A drying up of funds has forced the Cape Girardeau-based Gibson Center to close its Bollinger County facility in Marble Hill at the end of June. Angie Silvey, who had overseen the site, has been transferred to the Gibson Center facility in Perryville, Mo.

Gibson Center director John Gary said grants from various state and federal sources have been drying up and that over the years the center has had to cut services in other locations. This year it was forced to close centers in Bollinger and Ste. Genevieve counties.

The Gibson Center has received grants from the Missouri Foundation for Health, the Missouri Department of Mental Health and has had funding from the U.S. District Court.

"When the funding ends, and because the majority of our clients don't pay, unfortunately we have to make these tough decisions," Gary said. "It's so sad."

The Strengthening Families Program that Silvey started at the Marble Hill location will end as well. The program had brought families together during the rehabilitation of a family member and helped strengthen dynamics that benefited all family members. The final Strengthening Families graduation is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. June 22 at a location still to be determined.

"I would love to see all of you come out to help celebrate the success of our families, as well as say goodbye," Silvey said in a statement to the Bollinger County Caring Council. "I have enjoyed working with all of you, and hopefully will be able to continue to do so since I will be serving part of Bollinger County through the Perryville office. It has been my honor and privilege to work with so many dedicated people."

Bollinger County residents who need the Gibson Center's services will be referred to either Perryville or Cape Girardeau. Gary said the center plans to hire a driver to help provide transportation from Bollinger County to those areas.

Between 25 to 30 clients a month on average participate in the recovery program that can last up to a year. Some clients may slip through the cracks because of transportation problems, which can cause some clients to relapse and create anxiety for the clients and their families, Gary said.

"We have had success stories out there," Gary said. "There needs to be more awareness for substance abuse and mental health services and more funding out there."

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