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Catholic Charities takes first steps in transition at Campus of Hope

Two groups will take over most of the work at Catholic Charities’ 93-bed, adult substance abuse and mental health treatment facility in Omaha, under an agreement approved Oct. 12 by Region 6, a regional board for behavioral health services.

That means clients at the Campus of Hope will receive the same care at the same place, one of Catholic Charities’ goals in the transition, said John Griffith, executive director.

"Certainly the opportunity to keep these programs going is something we are happy and pleased about," Griffith said.

Insufficient government funding and increasing regulations are prompting the charitable arm of the Archdiocese of Omaha to assess its services and make some changes – and one goal is transferring to other providers the agency’s residential substance abuse and mental health services in Omaha and Columbus.

Under the agreement, the Douglas County Community Health Center will be responsible for the Campus of Hope’s detoxification services. Centerpointe, a nonprofit organization based in Lincoln, will handle short-term residential care and a dual-diagnosis disorder program. Catholic Charities also plans to transfer the campus’ intermediate residential rehabilitation program but will keep it open while Region 6 looks for a replacement provider, Griffith said.

Discussions are underway with other providers to take over the 16-bed Journeys program for adolescents, Griffith said. And a 16-bed facility for adults in Columbus, overseen by state Regions 3 and 4, could go to other providers, Griffith said.

Regulations impacting how services are delivered have become more burdensome and increase costs, Griffith said. And archdiocesan officials have raised concerns about government regulations limiting the ability of faith-based organizations such as Catholic Charities to provide services consistent with their beliefs.

But Catholic Charities will continue to serve the poor and people of all faiths – even while not relying on government funding and more closely aligning its operations and services to address needs in the archdiocese and its parishes, Griffith said.

"Catholic Charities is not going away," Griffith said. "The mission continues."

And with Catholic Charities’ annual appeal beginning next month, people can contribute directly to that mission, with donations helping the organization deliver services through its food pantries, Latino resources center, microbusiness training and other programs, Griffith said.

"Additional help this year would be greatly appreciated," he said. "It will help us through this transition."

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