Helen Farabee to close program for mentally disabled adults

The region’s mental health care provider will end programming for Young County low-income adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities next month, as families scramble to find new accomodations, a parent told County Commissioners on Feb. 12.

Helen Farabee Centers plans to shut down the IDD program in Graham due to changes in the state and federal regulations, said Dennis Heath, whose daughter attends the program.

Mr. Heath said he and other parents have approached The Arc of Wichita County to open a satellite program in Graham to serve about 50 to 150 people who use services ranging from socialization, life and academic skills, job training and light work, and a five-hour “dayhab” program.

When Helen Farabee shutters its IDD program on March 22, nine employees will lose their jobs, he said.

Mr. Heath said he wanted to apprise the Commissioners of the talks with The Arc and with the owner of a local building that could house the program and employ the workers.

The Arc offers an after-school bridge program for high schoolers, day care for adults from 2-5 p.m. and an affordable day rate plus needs-based scholarships, he said.

The group has found a building that could serve as the new IDD center, but it needs a kitchen, he told the Court. County Judge Win Graham said the Court would look into applying funds it had already budgeted for the program toward upgrading the building.

“This sounds exciting,” he said. “No point in reinventing the wheel.”