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County sends $157,583 a year to area agencies

Staff writer

Marion County spends $157,583 a year supporting organizations that serve people in multiple counties.

In some cases, the amount the county pays aligns with the number of county residents served.

Harvey-Marion County Community Developmental Disability Organization, headquartered in Newton, is one of the organizations the county supports. Begun in 1995, it is one of 27 CDDO organizations statewide. Each serves a defined geographical area.

The organization is the point of entry for people with developmental disabilities to choose case management, residential services, day and work services, and self-directed services. While the agency does not provide the services directly, it finds the right service provider for the client’s needs.

The agency’s total budget is $481,493. Of that, Marion County pays $65,000, and Harvey County pays $102,500. The rest is state funded.

Of the 291 served, 55 are from Marion County and 236 from Harvey County.

According to director Elizabeth Schmidt, clients are placed on an eight-year waiting list.

Prairie View, a mental health system with facilities in Newton, Hillsboro, Wichita, and McPherson, is another organization that serves multiple counties.

Prairie View is a mental health provider for Harvey, McPherson, and Marion counties. Its offices in Wichita are outpatient clinics.

Marion County pays Prairie View $65,000, Harvey County $141,200, and McPherson County $172,694.

Sarah Lyon, publisher and brand manager, said the agency’s budget for 2018 was $19.1 million, which includes insurance payments as well as public funds. Prairie View aided 10,117 people in 2018, 1,012 of whom did not have insurance.

“We serve 361 Marion county residents,” Lyon said.

Court Appointed Special Advocates of the 8th Judicial District serves Marion, Morris, Geary, and Dickinson counties.

Court appointed special advocates assist the court system to find permanent homes for children removed from their homes because of alleged abuse or neglect. Their job is to advocate the best interests of the child.

CASA volunteers also work with children in the juvenile justice system and who are involved in domestic relations cases.

They attend court hearings, assist in developing a reintegration plan, meet with other professionals assigned to the child, become acquainted with the conditions and circumstances affecting the child, make written reports for the court, and visit the child as often as necessary to see whether the child’s needs are being met.

Although the agency relies upon volunteers, it is funded entirely by donations and grants, some of which come from the district courts it serves.

CASA gets $2,000 a year from Marion County District Court’s budget. Geary County pays $6,000, Dickinson County pays $2,000, and Morris County pays a fluctuating amount that averages $2,500 a year.

Last year the agency served 13 Marion County children and is working with 10 so far this year.

Last year CASA served 118 children throughout their region, and this year is already serving 125 children.

“I write a lot of grants,” executive director Lisa Hatt said. “We have five people who donate on a monthly basis to help.”

Commissioners voted to pay $4,276 from special alcohol funds to The Restoration Center, which has offices in Marion, Junction City, and Wichita.

The Restoration Center also operates a boys’ home in Ogden for youths removed from their homes. In the Ogden facility, youths are given drug and alcohol, anger management, and mental health services. Outpatient offices provide counseling services that include drug and alcohol counseling.

Funding from the county is spent exclusively for the Marion office, which at this time serves 50 county residents.

“Each office has a separate budget,” said counselor Joy Waldbauer. “Grants for our office are used in our office.”

In addition to the organizations listed above:

  • Marion County pays $4,000 a year to support Kansas Legal Services, a statewide nonprofit with offices in 11 locations.
  • The county pays $2,500 a year to Safe Hope domestic violence and sexual assault agency.
  • Commissioners recently voted to pay $2,000 for the 2019 Tri-County Fair.
  • The county pays $13,958 a year to the North Central Kansas Regional Juvenile Detention Facility.
  • The county is required to pay $7,349 to North Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging for 2019.

Last modified July 24, 2019

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