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Community Crisis Center

Gazette opinion: Crisis center saves lives, money

Billings Gazettecrisis center saves...

February 19, 2014

South central Montana’s unusually cold, icy winter has been especially hard on the folks who arrive on foot and by patrol car every day and night at the Community Crisis Center. All have serious mental illnesses or chemical dependencies; most have both. More than 80 percent are homeless or on the brink of becoming homeless.

The 24/7 crisis center has always been busy. This winter the small, nonprofit service at 704 N. 30th St. has been slammed. Last year, the center logged an average of 700 client service visits per month. That count surged to 785 in December and 950 in January. (more…)

Bullock advisers, DPHHS director tour Billings’ mental health facilities

Billings GazetteGoverner CCC

October 30, 2013

Standing in the main reception room at the Community Crisis Center, members of Gov. Steve Bullock’s staff watched and listened.

They spent Wednesday morning in Billings, touring various community-based mental health and substance abuse treatment and care facilities in an effort to better understand the facilities’ role in public health and the funding they need.

Because funding is needed. (more…)

Mental-health services in Billings grab Gov. Bullock’s attention

Billings GazetteGov

October 28, 2013

The waiting lists for new clients seeking mental-health care in Eastern Montana keep growing and growing.

At the same time, state funding for services created specifically to serve Montana’s poorest residents hasn’t kept pace.

The shortfall has forced the South Central Montana Regional Mental Health Center in Billings to stop taking new clients. (more…)

Gazette opinion: State grant averts crisis center crisis

Billings Gazette

October 4, 2012

When this column called for support of the Community Crisis Center two months ago, a crucial state grant was in question.

Last week, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services notified the Billings center that its request for $315,217 has been approved.

“With this money we will be able to operate through the year,” said MarCee Neary, crisis center director. (more…)

Gazette opinion: Crisis Center needs support to sustain success

Billings Gazette

December 23, 2012

community Crisis centerOn a corner of Billings’ medical corridor, the Community Crisis Center welcomes everyone in need. People who come through its doors 24/7 have serious problems.

  • 78 percent are homeless.
  • 83 percent have no money or health care coverage. Medicaid rarely covers CCC services.
  • More than 60 percent have both mental illnesses and substance abuse issues.

Their average age is 45, 67 percent are men and at least 9 percent are U.S. military veterans. Most come from Yellowstone County, but about 10 percent arrive from neighboring counties. In the past six years, the center has served people from 38 of Montana’s 56 counties.

“We serve anybody who walks in the door,” said Marcee Farrar-Neary, the center’s director. Last fiscal year, the CCC averaged 650 visits a month. Since July, the average has been 680.

Snow and cold bring more people in, but every night is busy.

“Typically, when I walk in in the morning, two or three clients are waiting because they didn’t get a bed,” Farrar-Neary said. “Typically, by the time I leave in the evening, the lobby is full with 10 to 12 people.”

The center has 20 beds and they fill nightly. Clients can stay up to 23 hours, but the average is 12. (more…)

Consider Community Crisis Center in year-end giving

Billings Gazette

December 16, 2012

The Community Crisis Center is a small, nonprofit organization. This organization cares for a large population of people who either have mental illness or abuse substances and are in crisis, homeless and in crisis or just totally down on their luck. The CCC is not a shelter, but offers the above population of clients up to 24 hours of warmth, rest, nutrition and stabilization. (more…)

Gazette opinion: Community helps PATH take homeless home

Billings Gazette

November 22, 2012

When Mental Health Center workers go out at night to find homeless folks in Billings, they never go alone.PATH

The PATH team takes along volunteers. Most are members of local churches. Some are homeless or formerly homeless clients who guide the team to places where people are camped.

The PATH (Projects of Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) workers offer sandwiches, bottles of water, socks, blankets and jackets. Most importantly, they offer a connection to their community partners. PATH can connect them to treatment for mental illnesses and addictions at the Mental Health Center. If individuals are in crisis, the team will get them to the Community Crisis Center. For housing, PATH works with the Billings Housing Authority. Emergency shelter can be found at Montana Rescue Mission. Medical treatment is available through Healthcare for the Homeless, a program of RiverStone Health. (more…)