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City Council votes to donate emergency funds to drug treatment center

The St. Joseph City Council has passed an emergency ordinance to give the St. Kolbe-Puckett Center for Healing $4,000.

Posted: Jul 15, 2019 8:22 PM
Updated: Jul 15, 2019 8:24 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph City Council has passed an emergency ordinance to give the St. Kolbe-Puckett Center for Healing $4,000.

The ordinance passed 8-0, with councilman Brian Myers sustaining.

The non-profit drug treatment center has been open for just under a year but low funds threatened to slow down or close their services. The center functions soley on donations.

"When [we] started the St. Kolbe-Puckett Center for Healing that was our goal, to never refuse service to anyone regardless of their ability to pay," said Founder Mark Puckett.

Staff says that is why they have made such an impact in a short amount of time. 

"We have over 120 patients, we have an 85 percent retention rate," said Puckett. "We have people that are in recovery and have turned their lives completely around."

To continue their free help, they need to stay afloat.

"Utilities, rent, and the paid staff we have it runs us at about 8-thousand dollars a month," said Puckett.

However, as a new non-profit, funding through grants does not come easily. 

"It's very hard to get grants until you've been in existence for two years, which we're getting ready to roll up to one year," said Puckett. 

The center is receiving a community development block grant, but will not receive the funds until August.

Now with additional support from the city, staff say the center will be able to keep its doors open for the rest of the year. 

"It's important for them to stay funded and keep their doors open because they are having great success, they're helping people remove themselves from addiction," said Mayor Bill McMurray. "Addiction can just tear somebody down, this is an organization that is helping to build people help and overcome their addictions. I support that and I know the Council does too." 

"I am very appreciative to the Mayor and the City Council members, it's great to see that they believe in what we are doing," said Puckett. "We will continue to step up and help our community." 

The St. Kolbe-Puckett Center for Healing has a fundraiser parking lot sale on Saturday, July 20th. Staff is asking people to bring donations to the Compton parking lot from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. All proceeds will go to providing services at the center.

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