Monroe Area Guidance Center in need of support

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Monroe Area Guidance Center has been serving the mentally ill homeless population for 30 years, but now they're trying to expand their reach.

Courtesy: KNOE 8 News

The current building, located on Garrett Road, can hold about 16 people, but they're working to open another building on Jackson Street to house more.

The center receives most of its funding through partnerships and the Northeast Delta Human Resource Authority, but the rest comes from donations.

Executive Director Chalsea Little says it costs twenty five to thirty thousand dollars a month to operate the center.

Activities Coordinator Niehsa Marshall says every little bit helps these
individuals become functioning citizens in our communities.

"Budgeting, they get training in medication management, conflict issues, stress related issues, we deal with all of that," says Marshall. "We help them find jobs, we offer online training, so we try to make sure they try to understand all of those things before they move out on their own."

Dwight Poole has been living at the center for three years. He says he's learned so much and he's even picked up a new hobby.

"I play the guitar, but I had some problems and I'm trying to get back on my feet with that and now it's gradually coming back with me and to me," says Poole.

Yolanda Collins says because of the help she's getting from the Monroe Area Guidance Center, interacting with everyday people is becoming normal for her.

"I'm learning the basic knowledge of getting along with people and dealing with different people and it's a wonderful place to be at when you have mental illness," says Collins.

Marshall says community support is always encouraged. You can donate beds, clothing, pillows, hygiene items, and monetary donations are also accepted.

To learn more about the Monroe Area Guidance Center, visit the link below.