November 19, 2021

Pathways Center Crisis Stabilization Service Closing Due to Staffing Shortage

Due to critical staff shortages, The Department of Human Services (DHS) Pathways Center at Birdneck Circle will be temporarily closing its operation on Wednesday, Nov. 24. The Pathways Center offers crisis stabilization and detoxification services for individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis and/or medical withdrawal from alcohol and/or other drugs, and provides links to continuing treatment and services. At this time, a reopening date has not been determined.

"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."

When operating at normal capacity, Pathways can accommodate 16 individuals at a time to offer initial treatment and links to ongoing community-based supports upon release. On average, clients stay about five days. However, due to COVID-19, capacity was reduced to eight beds to ensure the safety of the individuals being served and the medical providers. Despite this safety-related reduction, Pathways served 531 individuals in 2020. The remaining staff members from Pathways will be redeployed to other areas in DHS where there are vacant positions.

Anyone experiencing a behavioral health crisis is encouraged to contact our 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.

DHS is seeking qualified candidates to join our team at The Pathways Center and in other critical Human Services areas experiencing vacancies. To learn more and apply, please visit

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