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Substance abuse and mental illness non-profit organization could close down

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The West Virginia Mental Health Consumers' Association has been serving people in the tri-state area for decades. The West Virginia Mental Health Consumers' Association has been serving people in the tri-state area for decades.

A non-profit organization dedicated to helping people who suffer from mental illnesses and substance abuse is in danger of shutting its doors for good.

The West Virginia Mental Health Consumers' Association has been serving people in the tri-state area for decades.  It's located on Washington Street West in Charleston, WV.

Brenda Small has taken advantage of the center's services for more than 10 years. She spent part of her life in and out of mental institutions. The center has helped her cope with her problems and live on her own.

"It made me get loved being with all of these people," she said.

This wellness recovery education center reaches out to people from all walks of life; drug addicts, the homeless, and people with mental health issues.

"It teaches everybody how to cope with life and teaches us how to deal with other people's disabilities," said Patricia White. White suffers from depression following the death of her father on Christmas Day in 2009. She lives in a group home and was encouraged to visit the WVMHCA, which she said has helped her a great deal.

Kenneth Edens used to be homeless and suffers from substance abuse. He's worried he'll fall back into old habits if the center shuts down.

"I feel like the chances of that would go up higher if this place would close down," he said.

Following years of budget cuts, the WVMHCA could close for good.

"Our funding used to be based off of donations, and grants, and training," said Jennifer Mcvey, who has been volunteering at the center for one year.

Mcvey said money to keep the center afloat is almost gone.

According to documents filed in the West Virginia State Budget Office, funding for the WVMHCA has dropped from $1.6 million in 2011, to $51,000 in 2013. The Department of Health and Human Resources provided a bulk of the funding for the organization in the past.

In a statement to 13 News, Allison Adler, Director of Communications for the DHHR said, "The results of monitoring efforts revealed that the organization was not regularly complying with the terms and conditions applicable to the grants awarded to the Mental Health Consumer Association. Therefore, the DHHR's Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities solicited and awarded proposals from other community based nonprofit organizations to administer the grant-related programs.  As a result of the Bureau's solicitation and award process, Drop-In Centers were funded in Ripley, Huntington, Buckhannon, Richwood, Wheeling and Romney."