MSSLC's status helps keep it open in troubled times

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Customers Carol Patin, of Groesbeck, at right, and Betty Rowley, of Mexia, at rear, choose plants for their gardens from thousands of possibilities at Mexia State Supported Living Center’s greenhouse. Residents of the MSSLC learn gardening skills by working in the greenhouse, and the plants they grow are sold for quite reasonable prices, with seedlings 25 cents, 5-inch potted plants $1 and hanging baskets $6. Mexia News photos/Roxanne McKnight

The Mexia State Supported Living Center is Texas’ only forensic SSLC, a characteristic that may cast a negative shadow on the campus but also helps protect it from the continual threats of closure that hang over all the state’s SSLCs.
MSSLC Director Mike Davis spoke to the Mexia Lions Club recently on what’s going on at the Mexia campus and also on what he’s doing to improve the SSLC’s reputation in Mexia.
The resident population of the MSSLC is about 320, he said, far lower than in years past, and Davis takes a positive view of that.
“If you look at all 13 SSLCs, Mexia doubles everyone else when it comes to placing residents out in the community,” he said. “That means we’re doing an excellent job of trying to get the residents out where they can actually go ahead and have successful lives.”
Of the 320 current residents, about a fourth, 80-85, are a remnant of the former, non-forensic population. Housed in the Martin Unit, they are mostly elderly, severely handicapped and physically fragile. Despite the MSSLC’s forensic designation, these non-forensic residents are still welcome, Davis said.
“Most of the residents have lived there all their lives,” he said.

To read more, pick up a copy of Tuesday's The Mexia News, or subscribe to our e-edition.