CATEGORY: Alcorn County

AUTHOR: SUMMER

HED:Corinth homes celebrate openings

By Jane Clark Summers

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH - Neighbors and members of the community at large joined with city, county and state officials at Thursday's dedication of two new North Mississippi Regional Center community homes.

The homes, licensed intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded, provide placement for 10 male and 10 female clients.

The homes in Corinth are named Bonnie June Ayres Poplar Point Community Homes in honor of Bonnie June Ayres of Hickory Flat. They're located between County Road 101 and Henson Road on land donated by the city of Corinth.

Ayres honor

In 1966, Ayres was named to the Regional Commission in Tupelo to plan a new facility (now known as the McDougal Center) to serve citizens with mental retardation. Gov. Cliff Finch named Ayres to the State Board of Mental Health in the late 1970s. She served one full term and two years of her second term before resigning due to an illness in the family.

Dr. Carole B. Haney, director of North Mississippi Regional Center, expressed appreciation to the Mississippi Legislature and the citizens of Alcorn County for their support in locating the homes in Corinth.

"We are very fortunate that the Mississippi Legislature has supported our expansion of services so that our clients may live closer to their families and loved ones," Haney said. "We also wish to thank city and county elected officials and the fine citizens in Corinth for their support of our efforts to offer quality services to individuals with developmental disabilities."

11 regional homes

The Corinth community homes are among 11 such homes operated by the regional commission. Others are located in Oxford, Bruce, Fulton, Hernando and Tupelo. Additional homes are under construction or development in Batesville, Columbus and Pontotoc.

The Corinth floor plans emphasize bright colors, natural light and balance of open space and privacy to provide a cheerful, homelike atmosphere.

Haney said the clients have adapted well to life in the Corinth. They are very active in the community, enjoy leisure and recreation opportunities and work in Alcorn County industries, she said.

Payroll

The facilities will contribute about $1 million annually to the Corinth economy in payroll, goods and services, Haney said.

A 36-member staff operates the two homes on a three-shift, seven-day, 365-day basis.

The North Mississippi Regional Center also operates a work activity center and a traditional group home in Corinth. The work activity center offers paid employment for jobs subcontracted from local industries and vocational training to prepare clients for future job opportunities.

Operating under the state Department of Mental Health, the regional center provides services for the 23 counties in the north part of the state. The center's commission is headquartered on a 220-acre campus in Oxford.

For more information about North Mississippi Regional Commission community services, contact the Corinth center at 284-1476, extension 332.

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