(Photo by Randy M. Cauthron) [Order this photo]
Friday, the former Twettens' building, on the corner of Second Avenue East and East Fifth Street, will reopen for business.
It will no longer serve as a home for upscale interior design projects, but will instead be used to assist Seasons Center in providing a variety of care services to its clients.
"Basically, the short-term plan involves moving people in on Friday," Seasons Center executive director Kim Scorza said. "We've maxed out our space right here in the administrative building. Some staff is moving there, but patients will not be seen there at this time."
The long-term plan looks much different, however.
"We did some strategic planning and identified four goals. One of those goals is to establish a regional children's center in about two years," Scorza said. "Geographically, it fits in. It's just a few blocks away. Ideally, we'd like to have it on site, but we're out of room. This will allow us to offer some specialty services for kids there. We need to get a center that provides services to children. Kind of a one-stop shop."
Seasons Center provides a variety of services for persons of all ages including, but not limited to, psychiatric department care, therapy with evidence-based practices, substance abuse and case management.
Care for children has been on the upswing for care providers at Seasons Center.
"Our volume has picked up a lot. There's just a growing need right now. A lot of kids are in complex and complicated situations. You know any kind of human hurt and that's the type of kids we're seeing," she admitted.
In calendar year 2011, Seasons Center provided client care for 3,907 cases, of which 1,141 cases involved children. Recently completed 2012 saw the number of cases increase to 4,393, with 1,290 of a child-based nature.
"Awareness is part of it. Part of the growth has been because someone heard about it on the news and another part of it comes from an intentional campaign on our part to get the message out about the services we provide. We made a decision to work with schools, providers, court and DHS. We went out and did a community-needs assessment and put together an awareness campaign on how to get the message out about the services and treatment available," she explained.
Scorza said Seasons Center is planning to unveil some additional services, but the local provider is not necessarily ready to begin rolling them out right now.
The center has recently hired Dr. Natalie Sandbulte, a clinical psychologist.
"She hasn't begun to see any clients. We're just trying to get all of the processes in place. She'll be an integral part even before that (children's center) gets started. That's one of the pieces we've been missing here; testing services."
Scorza said the new building will be converted and remodeled in preparation for its use as a children's service facility, which she hopes will become a regional hub for child services.
"We'll be going out to the community and individuals to make it happen," she said. "Our vision for the center in a couple of years is to have the community embrace it and say, 'We want to care for our children.'"
Adolescent care has also experienced an increase as Seasons Center became a licensed substance abuse provider.
"We started seeing patients in July and we've already had to add two additional staff, and we're looking to add two more," Scorza said, noting that her time will be focused on the fundraising campaign and recruitment of new care professionals in the coming months.