United Way and partners plan groundbreaking on home for people with mental illness

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – After days of disappointing news of mental health facilities in north Alabama closing, there is finally some good news.

There’s a new home in the works for those living with mental illness in Limestone County.

On Elm Street, right next to the Athens Limestone Counseling Center, there’s an empty lot.

“It’s going to be their homes,” said Kaye McFarlen, Executive Director of United Way of Athens/Limestone County.

McFarlen sees the empty lot as a perfect place for security, consistency, protection and support for people living with mental illness.

“It’s going to help a lot of adults that otherwise might be suffering in silence somewhere,” said McFarlen.

On Feb. 17, she and other partners who’ve been working on this project for 18 months will break ground on a triplex that will house people who McFarlen says need to be in an environment where they can be supported by both mental health professionals and by each other.

The project is costing about $400,000 in grant money, donations, and volunteer services and will be called the North Alabama Mental Health Home.

“They’re going to be able to lead some really productive lives. They’re going to not be on the street, they’re not going to be somewhere where they’re not getting their medications that they need to live a more normal life,” said McFarlen.

It will be a first for Limestone County, and something McFarlen hopes other communities will replicate. The groundbreaking will be Tuesday at 1 p.m.

The United Way is looking for donors of labor and building supplies to finish the first of several triplex structures to house nine people.