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Centerstone Officials Say New Budget to Force Closure of the Living Room Addiction Program

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Tuesday night, Louisville Metro Council passed a new budget that leaves some city services with little or no funding.

One of those organizations is Centerstone. It's taking a major hit, and while it isn't closing entirely, one of its programs will.

The Living Room, a mental health and addiction program in downtown Louisville, has no money to operate for the next year.

Mike Kolb, co-president of CLOUT, said he is saddened that the council, "chose a budget that really emphasized some non-critical services instead of the lives of humans."

The Living Room has been open for over a year and is fully funded from the city with about $1 million. It focuses on keeping drug-addicted or mentally ill people out of jail and in treatment.

But Tuesday night, Louisville Metro Council voted to only fund Centerstone's crisis and information center, which leaves The Living Room with no money and people who need the program with nowhere to go.

The program says it has served more than 3,000 people.

The Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together helped start the program and says the effects of the budget vote will be felt throughout the city.

"It costs $200 a day for Centerstone to administer the Living Room," Kolb said. "It costs over $500 a day to incarcerate people. The emergency rooms are going to be more full."

Kolb says he plans to work hard in August for next year's budget to get the funding.

The CEO says the Living Room will close at the end of July.

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