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Public is invited to enjoy live music, prizes, tours of the new facility and more

For years, people have known the large sprawling building at the top of the hill on Northeast Elm Street as Pioneer Memorial Hospital.

However, recently installed signs and a planned ribbon cutting and open house will proclaim that the space is now the new home of Lutheran Community Services Northwest.

The organization through which Crook County Mental Health provides its services will be hosting the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce's Prineville Perk, celebrating the renovations of the facility with a ribbon cutting and holding an open house on Friday. The Perk will be held from 8 to 9 a.m., the ribbon cutting from 9 to 10 a.m., and the open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"It is really three events in one," said Michelle Duff, who is LCS's public relations and marketing administrator. "(At the Perk) we will show the people our facility. We just want to tell them what we do up here and about all of the people we are helping and serving."

A ribbon cutting will follow the Chamber event, during which LCS Senior District Director Bob Pickel will speak.

"It's all about service," Pickel said of the new space, "creating and developing an infrastructure in order to be able to offer quality service and community partnerships."

In addition, an employee who was once an LCS client will give a testimonial.

"Lutheran Community Services saved my life," said Glenda Miller, who is now working in Community Support Services and Assertive Community Treatment Peer Support for the organization. "Once a client in the depths of despair, (I am) now a contributing member of society."

The festivities will continue with an open house that fill feature a variety of attractions and demonstrations for visitors to enjoy. The Crook County High School Jazz Choir will provide live music, and Duff said that people will be treated to lots of good food.

"We are doing tours of our facility," she added, noting that LCS, which began moving into the building this past June, now occupies the portion of the facility that used to house a pharmacy and the hospital clinic.

"The renovations have been going fantastic," Duff said.

Future remodel plans include an effort to repurpose a former lab area on the northeast side of the building as a resource center.

"We will have internet access and other services available for either the homeless or people in need," she said.

In addition to the tour and the food and prizes planned for the open house, LCS will offer four different therapeutic demonstrations intended to show the public some of the services it offers. These include an art therapy station, another for animal-assisted therapy, mindful meditation and play therapy.

The art therapy demonstration will provide an opportunity for visitor participation.

"We will have places to draw and create their own artwork," Duff said. "We will have a children's craft corner where we will do crafts with them."

During the animal therapy session, the facilitator will explain to people the benefits of pet therapy.

Duff is quick to point out that LCS will provide many more services in its new facility. These include child and family services and community support services such as peer counseling, housing and management of the local school-based health center. The organization will also provide 24/7 crisis response services and adult behavioral health services, which include a substance abuse division, a jail diversion program and intellectual disabilities services that address such conditions as autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

"We are able to serve more people through intake and engagement," Duff said of the new LCS location. "We are so thrilled to be in the new facility."

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