The organization has expanded from simply substance abuse and suicide prevention to a "one-stop reference guide for people with a range of health or human services needs."
Like other community agencies, Gryphon Place has been hard hit by the economic downturn, according to Pell. Local funding has fallen by $100,00, according to the agency’s 2009 annual report, at a time when the need for services has increased.For people in poverty, there is no "map" or "guide" of how reach or access services. Many people rely on service referral organizations such as Gryphon Place to direct them to the correct organizations. Without them, they would be forced to call and/or visit every organization until they filled the right need. To say that this service is crucial would be an understatement.
Though suicide-related calls have remained steady, calls about basic needs, such as people seeking help with utility shut-offs, evictions, foreclosures, hunger and homelessness, increased by 10 percent two years ago, by 11 percent last year, and 10 percent this year.
The high numbers, says Pell, reflect many “newly poor” in the community, people who always had jobs, homes and food until recently, but now find themselves in dire financial trouble. These people, he said, “don’t understand the system, they’re embarrassed and demoralized, and they don’t like asking for help.”
Happy 40th birthday Gryphon place!
Read the Full Article: http://www.mlive.com/living/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/08/kalamazoos_gryphon_place_turns.html