HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Oak Arbor
We have operated Oak Arbor as a transitional long-term addiction treatment center since 2002. Oak Arbor serves a variety of residents which includes veterans and non-veterans. Over the years we have added two grants that provide support services to veterans in south Mississippi and constructed 12, 2 bedroom apartments that house veterans. Since its inception we have experienced operating losses each year.
Recently the Veterans Administration (VA) restricted how much we could charge veterans for the services they receive. Despite our best explanations and efforts, the VA restricted the amount to the fair market value of the housing as determined by HUD. HUD is a housing organization and any rental rate they set does not include the cost of treatment and the encompassing support services provided at Oak Arbor which included utilities, transportation, all meals, and job placement. The VA's actions will result in an additional loss of approximately $100,000 a year. Consequently, we could not continue to operate Oak Arbor as it has been operated historically.
Clearview Recovery Center (Clearview) provided transitional care prior to the acquisition of Oak Arbor. The decision has been made to consolidate the services provided by these two facilities at Clearview.
Consolidation will necessitate an evaluation of the resident population at Oak Arbor and appropriate placement of those individuals at either Clearview, the VA apartments at Oak Arbor, other treatment facilities or the community. This process will begin immediately and the residents will be provided options. We are working closely with the VA and other organizations to make this transition as smooth as possible and to place individuals where their needs are best served. Hopefully, all residents will be transitioned over the next several weeks.
Staff will have an opportunity to apply for vacant positions throughout the agency. While it is our desire that no staff would be displaced, the reality is that we do not have enough positions to absorb all of the existing Oak Arbor staff.
When the consolidation is completed, Clearview will continue to offer services similar to those offered at Oak Arbor but will have less bed capacity. We will continue to operate the 12 apartments at Oak Arbor which target veterans and we will provide the necessary chemical dependency services for those residents. Additionally, the VA grants which assist veterans with housing and employment presently operated at Oak Arbor will continue to be operated from the Oak Arbor location.