MECHANICSBURG – The Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services Board has announced it is partnering with Merv Miller of Mechanicsburg For a Healthy Community to help establish a Community Center in Mechanicsburg. The Community Center will be in the same building as Simple Comforts Coffee House, owned by Merv and Tammy Miller.
Merv envisions Community Center will consist of office space for drug and alcohol therapy, clergy, youth mentoring and a dried goods pantry.
The mini-grant provided is for construction materials to remodel the space. The estimated completion date for this project is around July 2021.
Drug and alcohol therapy
Merv is working with TCN Behavioral Health to provide a satellite office to provide therapy in Mechanicsburg one or more days a week. This would remove the transportation barrier that can make it difficult to get enough support during the recovery journey. The public’s access to care is a priority for the MHDAS and Merv’s efforts are greatly appreciated.
“I have a real passion for people with substance use disorders,” says Merv. “I don’t only want to give them a ride home from jail. I want a relationship with them. I want to connect them to the things they need to be successful like housing, employment, mentorship and a church family.” Merv has been very successful with this approach as he has helped people transition from a jail cell, to an apartment, to obtaining their driver’s license and gaining access to employment, all thanks to his involvement.
Merv’s grant request stated, “Trauma in children is caused by inconsistent parenting due to mental health, alcohol or drug issues and has been a problem in our community. Toxic stress can build up without the buffer of safe adult relationships. Social-emotional learning activities will help build children’s understanding of their own emotions at the Community Center.”
Office for clergy
Merv reports that it is important to offer a neutral setting for people if they want to meet with clergy. An office at the Community Center could remove a barrier for someone to receive clergy support if meeting in a church is intimidating for the person. Bible Baptist Church of Mechanicsburg is also an ongoing partner of the Community Center.
The last goal of the Community Center is to provide basic needs like toothpaste and dried goods that will help offset the impact of adverse experiences, whether it is childhood trauma, the experience of incarceration, homelessness or any situation that prevents someone from having basic needs met.
Information from Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services (MHDAS) of Champaign and Logan counties.