generic mental health

The company Daybreak opened a new center in Victoria for adults with disabilities this month.

Daybreak began planning to expand its presence in Victoria and open a day habilitation center after leaders at the Gulf Bend Center reached out to say they were considering closing their two day centers for adults with disabilities, said Kathy Griffith, Daybreak’s regional director.

Gulf Bend Center, the public center that provides services for people with mental illnesses and intellectual disabilities, is closing both of its day habilitation programs July 31.

“Our reason for transitioning out of the intellectual and developmental day habs is the inability to sustain the programs without the revenue to support the costs,” Gulf Bend’s executive director Jeff Tunnell said in an emailed statement.

Day habilitation, better known as “day hab,” provides a community space for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The centers give adults a space to socialize and interact with their friends, to do activities and learn new skills, and have a safe and stimulating place to stay during the day.

Daybreak opened its new day center in July at 103 North Star Drive. The building has the capacity for more than 80 adults, Griffith said. It was also specially outfitted to serve the widest range of individuals possible, including people who use wheelchairs or need help eating. Daybreak added amenities like a wheelchair-accessible shower.

Leaders with Daybreak and Gulf Bend were in regular communication during the last several months to ensure a smooth transition for adults who were going to Gulf Bend’s day care, Griffith said. Both Griffith and Tunnell said nobody who had been using Gulf Bend’s day centers would be left without access to services.

Gulf Bend’s decision to end its programming illustrates the increasing financial challenge of providing services to adults with disabilities. Most, but not all, adults with intellectual disabilities in Texas use Medicaid.

Griffith said Daybreak and other providers like Gulf Bend have struggled to keep daycares open with the amount of money that the state will reimburse them.

“One of the biggest issues is that day hab is severely underfunded by the state and so it is very difficult for businesses to go into this,” Griffith said.

Clarification: Gulf Bend Center’s day habilitation program is closing. The existing day habilitation programs in Victoria County, Affectionate Arms Adult Day Health Care Center and Amour, are not affiliated with Gulf Bend and will remain open. The programs’ status was not clear in a story on Page A1 on Monday.

Ciara McCarthy covers local health issues for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can reach her at cmccarthy@vicad.com or at 580-6597 or on Twitter at @mccarthy_ciara.

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Health Reporter

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. She reports on insurance, the cost of health care and access to care, local hospitals, and more. Contact: cmccarthy@vicad.com or call 361-580-6597.

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