A GROUNDBREAKING STEP FOR MENTAL HEALTH: THE HERON BEGINS REBUILD IN MARATHON

a group of people standing around a cake
Guidance/Care Center staff, supporters and local dignitaries gather to celebrate the May 22 groundbreaking for The Heron’s rebuild in Marathon. CONTRIBUTED

The Guidance/Care Center broke ground on May 22 on the long-anticipated rebuild project at The Heron, the only state-licensed assisted living facility with a limited mental health license in Monroe County. This renovation will improve the living conditions and services for adults with chronic and persistent mental illness in the Florida Keys.

The Heron, approaching its 37th year, offers permanent housing and comprehensive supportive services to Monroe County adults in a comfortable, home environment. Serving 16 adults and centrally located in Marathon, The Heron has been a sanctuary for individuals struggling with severe mental health while allowing them to still be near their families.

Speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony included Maureen Dunleavy, senior vice president of the Guidance/Care Center; Clare Condra, administrator of The Heron; Sherry Reed, from the Community Action Council; Jim Mooney, state representative; Robyn Still, mayor of Marathon; Frank Rabbito, chief operations officer for the Florida region, WestCare; and David Rice, Monroe County commissioner. These leaders highlighted the impact the new facility will have on the community, emphasizing the importance of expanding housing and supportive services for residents in need.

More information is available from Maureen Dunleavy at 305-896-5964 or maureen.dunleavy@westcare.com.