Junction, Inc., a private nonprofit providing substance abuse prevention, intervention and treatment for individuals and their families, will close its doors on June 17 due to funding strains, according to a news release.
"It has been the perfect storm for funding a nonprofit. The economic downturn has taken its toll on all our funding sources, especially for community outreach programs in the field of mental health and drug addiction," said Kevin Dayhoff, a Junction board member for the past 11 years. "It has also become increasingly difficult to be reimbursed for care by insurance companies, and many of our clients have also been hit hard by the economy and have a limited ability to help with the expense of the complicated care and treatment of drug addiction."
The organization recently received notice that it would be losing critical grant funding July 1 from the Maryland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration.
"That was the straw that broke the camel's back," Dayhoff said.
According to the Junction website, the organization started serving Carroll County residents as a drop-in center for teens in 1971. The organization's 2009 tax forms report that Junction served 540 clients and spent just under $1.1 million on program services in 2009.
"Junction has always been a bare-bones, no frills, down-to-basics organization totally focused on client care," Dayhoff said "I mean, for 40 years, there has certainly been nothing fancy about a program being run out of an old county jail."
Dayhoff said Junction has always struggled to keep its programs funded, but it has always been able to get by. He noted grant funding has slowly declined over the past several years.
"Junction was able to get by and continue its work based on hope and fear for years—hope that we could keep the program going and, of course, the fear that we could not weather the continuing national, state and local economic downturn," Dayhoff said.
Junction is in the process of working with other local agencies to attempt to transfer existing clients to other programs and support services in the county, according to the press release. Dayhoff said that although other organizations are wonderful in their own right, he is concerned about the void that will be left when Junction closes.
"I'm worried that losing a program such as Junction will have a negative impact on our community," he said. "Anecdotally, I'm under the impression that marijuana, tobacco and alcohol abuse, heroin use and the misuse of prescription medications statistics are not going down and remain a challenge in our community. I firmly believe that an organization like Junction is best suited to address the challenges that the various patients and clients have so they can be productive citizens.
"Throughout this difficult process, working with Carroll County government has been wonderful. We are working hard with the Health Department to make sure all of our clients are taken care of and placed in good programs to see to it that they get the services they need to be productive members of the community, their workplaces and their families," Dayhoff said.