NORMAN — With predicted budget cuts threatening drug and treatment facilities, one Norman provider is trying to diversify funding so services can continue if government funds run dry.
Several weeks ago, leaders of the Norman Information and Counseling Center began hearing rumors of a 10 to 15 percent cut in state contracts next year. That was before the governing board for the state Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department approved a plan to lay off 100 employees statewide and to merge two other treatment centers in Norman. "Those cuts will be a hardship,” said Teresa Collado director of the center, which is a private facility. "But this is statewide. Everyone is struggling financially.” In addition to state funding cutbacks, Collado said, many nonprofit agencies are noticing reductions in private contributions, which may also stem from the economic recession. "It’s especially hard on addiction programs, because people have more addiction issues during tough times,” she said. "The need goes up, but the funding for our services goes down.” So when Collado was approached by local ActionCOACH representative Rob Garibay, she saw an opportunity to develop a diverse business plan that would help the treatment center continue. Know It: Addiction