Many of us could sure use some positive news, and we’ve received some over the weekend. Dr. Jenny Felmley with New Mexico’s Behavioral Health Services Division informed us that BHSD has given the Avalon Ranch project the nod to hire an executive director and begin the process of certification as an Accredited Residential Treatment Facility.
This effort has been in development for many years – since the original Crossroads program closed its doors. Crossroads was a residential treatment facility for women with children, and the loss was devastating. The unique nature of the program resulted in a high number of women overcoming their addictions and becoming productive citizens.
A mental health task force, chaired by Jeff Diamond, devoted many years to restoring this effort. The Avalon Ranch board formed was a nonprofit organization seeking to restart the Crossroads mission. Representative Cathrynn Brown and Senator Gay Kernan obtained capital outlay money for a building. Diamond led the effort to obtain operational funding and remains an ex officio member of the Avalon Ranch Board. Special thanks to current Avalon Ranch Chairman Woods Houghton, as well as board members Dan Banks, Carolyn Banks and Billy Massengill, who have been a part of this effort for many years. Beverly Allen, Eddie Sanchez and Sheriff Mark Cage have recently joined the board as well, and Donna French has rejoined. Finally, thank you to the State of New Mexico for recognizing the importance of this program and providing operational support. We have also received a lot of positive feedback from members of the community who want to help.
This group of volunteers had to overcome numerous obstacles to get to this point. There’s still a lot of work left to do, but everyone is deeply committed to making it happen. The building where the program will exist has been named “The Jeff and Evy Diamond Building” in honor of their many contributions to this project and other efforts in the community. We look forward to the day when women will again be offered these important services.
From the office of Mayor Dale Janway