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Mohawk Opportunities has new address

The agency has a staff of 75 employees and a budget of $5 million, which is funded through Medicaid, program fees paid by clients through Supplemental Security Income or public assistance and donations. It also gets funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The move turned out to be a smart one for the financial aspect of the business.

"We were able to purchase the building for the same amount we're paying in rent, and in the long run it will allow us to lower our overall costs," said Gallagher. "It had been a goal of our board of directors to find an office building of our own. It was strongly believed that it would enhance our presence in the community as well as increase the efficiency and affectivities of our opportunities."

Most clients are also served through traditional programs offered and Mohawk Opportunities helps support a stable lifestyle for clients in the community. Workers will go to a client's residence and check in on how they are doing and help teach them life skills for independent living, such as organization, shopping, menu planning laundry and seeking employment.

"They would be in much more expensive and much more restrictive levels of care, such as a hospital or jail," said Gallagher. "There would also be a much higher use of emergency rooms and hospitalization."

The agency also benefits the community by providing a more efficient form of services, he said. Also, the agency helps overcome social stigmas and perceptions of individuals served.

"Too often mental illness and homelessness and AIDS carry with it a stigma that affects a client's ability to live in a stable community setting," said Gallagher. "We are able to ensure and help these clients live that stable and meaningful life and minimize the stigma of their situation."

The demand for services doesn't appear to be fading either.

"There is always a high need for these kinds of services. The volume of need exceeds the amount of services that are available," he said. "It has increased as the state has shifted to community based programming instead of institutional care."

Building a stronger community through integration is important to the agency, he said.

"It is more beneficial for the client to remain in the community. It is much less expensive than institutional care," he said.""

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