"I don't think there's a counselor with our center who would not be concerned about that and make an effort to reach out to that client to find out if there's some way that we can intervene. What is the barrier for them coming in cause we certainly do not want that to be the inability to pay because we will work with them," Clinical Director Tristi Patterson said.
Established in 1976 the center was on the verge of closure in 2011 for lack of funding and low client numbers. Today the number of clients has skyrocketed, nearly doubling in 2013 with funding increasing through grants, local donors, fundraising, and collected fees. However, the increase in patients brings a new challenge.
"We're busting at the seems here. Like I said we have 11 counselors it's crazy in that lobby in the afternoon it's just sitting full of people and kids and we've just ran out of room," Community Relations Director Terri Holland said.
The counseling center has branched out across the city with donated office space from local organizations including MHMR, and Lake Methodist Church. This allows counselors to see their patients and continue services. Now their main goal is to acquire enough funds for a bigger counseling center.
"So we'd need to have enough space for all of our counselors and bussiness people and be able to spread out a little bit more," Holland said.
A bigger building would help the counseling center eliminate sharing of offices and having services spread out across San Angelo by accommodating everyone under one roof.