Buffett: 'Community Care Campus' will save lives
Crossing Healthcare opened two of their five healthcare buildings on the new “Community Care Campus” on Tuesday.
The Community Care Campus was funded by a $60 million gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
"The one thing I've learned for sure is that drug addiction is the greatest equalizer in life and death," Buffett said, speaking to a crowd at the facility's grand opening. "You can be from any home, you can have any parents, you can go to any school… Anybody who ends up addicted to any drug, that person has lost everything that they ever wanted in life."
Buffett said drug addiction has affected him and his family personally, including his cousin dying from a heroin addiction at age 37. He also mentioned meeting veterans that struggled with drug addiction while he served as Macon County Sheriff.
"If they walked up to me and said 'I need help', you think I'm going to say to them 'What did you do'?" Buffett said. "No, what they did was they tried to serve our country. So the answer is, 'What can I do to help you?' That's the answer."
He also criticized the characterization of drug addicts as criminals.
"When Jimi Hendrix died, I didn't think 'oh man, there's a criminal that died'," he said. "I didn't think when I heard John Belushi died, 'oh man, there's a criminal that died'. Or Michael Jackson, or Prince, or Whitney Houston."
Crossing Healthcare will own and operate the new medical detox and residential treatment facility, Crossing Recovery Center, and the 60-bed dormitory style transitional housing building.
Buffett said the new facility will help drug-addicted individuals get their lives back on track and become productive citizens.
"It's gonna save lives," he said. "And those lives could be your sister, or brother. It could be your parents. It could be a nephew. It could definitely be a cousin."
The Crossing Recovery Center at 495 East Central Avenue will serve Decatur and Macon County. They will start taking patients on Oct. 15.
The 27-acre healthcare and social services “Community Care Campus” will soon be home to 6 new facilities. Five state-of-the-art facilities will be owned and operated by Crossing Healthcare and the 6th building will be owned and operated by Baby TALK and DMCOC. Those facilities should be completed by Spring 2021.
Also, along the campus is the new Northeast Community Fund, opened on Sunday. The new building is 8,000 square feet in the 800 block of North Water Street. It will continue to donate food, clothing, household items and more to those in need in Decatur.
For more information about treatment at the "Community Care Campus", call 217-877-9117.