Virginia Beach recovery, treatment center temporarily closing due to staffing shortages

Pathways Center Virginia Beach.jpg
Posted at 5:58 PM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-21 18:13:23-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Due to critical staff shortages, the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services' Pathways Center at Birdneck Circle will be temporarily closed beginning Wednesday, November 24.

A reopening date has not been determined at this time.

The Pathways Center offers crisis stabilization and detoxification services for people experiencing mental health crises or medical withdrawal from alcohol or drugs. It also helps people find continuing treatment and services.

“The benefit of this facility is that it’s a community based facility and it’s not as intensive as an inpatient unit and it’s certainly not a jail cell,” clinical administrator Shelby Giles said.

The center is usually able to accommodate 16 people at a time for treatment, with clients staying about five days on average. However, due to COVID-19, capacity was reduced to eight beds.

Despite the reduction, Pathways served 531 people in 2020.

“Taking this step to reduce services is not a decision that was taken lightly,” said DHS Director Aileen L. Smith. “Unfortunately, staffing levels have reached a point where both safety and quality of care for our clients could be negatively impacted. DHS will continue to explore options to actively recruit staff to support our operations.”

Anyone experiencing a behavioral health crisis is encouraged to contact the DHS's behavioral health emergency services, available 24/7, at 757-385-0888. Adult Outpatient Services, including same day access, can be reached at 757-385-0511 during regular business hours, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

To apply for a position with the DHS or the Pathways Center, click here.

Related: Parents scramble for childcare as Virginia Beach prepares to cancel some after-school programs