The Howard G. Buffett Foundation in Decatur, Illinois, has announced a $25 million commitment to expand a healthcare and social services campus dedicated to addressing public health and drug addiction in Macon County.
The investment is in addition to a $30 million commitment announced by the foundation in August 2018 in support of the Community Care Campus currently under construction in downtown Decatur and includes funding for an 80,000-square-foot building that will house Baby TALK and the Decatur Macon County Opportunities Corp. The new facility will expand the size of the campus from seventeen to twenty-seven acres.
Baby TALK provides early childhood development services, while DMCOC operates the Anna Waters Head Start program and provides senior services, job training, assistance with utilities and emergency housing, and weatherization services. Officials told the Herald & Review that the addition of DMCOC to the campus would enable the two organizations to expand their services and provide Decatur residents, young and old alike, with a one-stop-shop for social services.
"Their services align with ours, and this will give families easy access to those services," said Baby TALK executive director Cindy Bardeleben. "Since we will be under one roof, it will allow us and DMCOC to reduce our costs because we won't have multiple overheads."
"There's no question that by combining these services in one location that we will make it easier for families to access them," said Buffett, who recently served as Macon County sheriff. "But more importantly, by having these service providers work collaboratively with families, we believe we can improve outcomes and make more efficient use of support resources."
(Photo credit: Decatur Macon County Opportunities Corp.)