Our History

The Guidance/Care Center, Inc. (GCC), was incorporated in 1973 as a 501(c)(3), nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to the provision of high-quality and cost-effective behavioral healthcare services for children, youth, and adults throughout the Florida Keys. Located in Marathon in the heart of Monroe County - midway between Key Largo and Key West, GCC offers a comprehensive continuum of mental health and substance abuse services. Currently, a staff of over 100 employees includes licensed professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses), certified addiction professionals, counselors, administrators, and computer, fiscal, clerical, clinical support, transportation, and maintenance staff.

In 1974, a residential, substance abuse detoxification unit was added to the services provided by GCC. The inpatient/residential unit was expanded in 1976 to include psychiatric crisis stabilization. The need for residential care increased in Monroe County. Consequently in 1989, GCC built the current facility (14,500 square feet), which houses administrative and outpatient offices and 33 residential beds: 8 substance abuse detoxification beds; 11 psychiatric crisis stabilization beds; 2 long-term, residential psychiatric beds; and 12 long-term, residential substance abuse beds.

In 1994, GCC established the Personal Growth Center (PGC) to provide day treatment and drop-in services for the chronically mentally ill. PGC initially was housed in a triple-wide modular unit on the property of GCC headquarters and in 2003 was moved into a permanent structure on GCC headquarters property. PGC has a membership of over 50 individuals who meet the following characteristics: adults (18 years and older) living in Monroe County, diagnosed with a serious and persistent mental health disorder, may have a concomitant substance use disorder, and may be homeless. The facility is used 7 days a week for drop-in services, 5 days a week for adult day treatment, and 7 nights a week for substance abuse treatment.

Florida Keys Mental Health For over 20 years, GCC has operated Middle Keys Transportation to ensure client access to services. GCC has also provided Baker Act transportation services for many years. During fiscal year 1998, GCC was designated the Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC) for the transportation disadvantaged who reside in Monroe County. In January 2000, GCC was also designated the Medicaid Transportation Coordinator.

Funding was added in February 2002 by DCF through a 3-year Prevention Partnership Grant (PPG) to implement science-based prevention services (Strengthening Families Program and Project Alert) throughout Monroe County. Two additional science-based prevention programs were added to the services offered at Stanley Switlik Elementary School: Keep a Clear Mind and Students Managing Anger and Resolution Together (SMART) Team. In collaboration with the Monroe County School District, funds are now being requested through a competitive process to continue Project Alert under PPG for an additional 4 years.

In May 2003, GCC received a 3-year Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant to provide psychiatric, primary healthcare, and case management services at the St. Francis Community Services Center (SFCSC) located at 2700 Flagler Avenue in Key West. The project is a partnership with Catholic Charities, providing space and case management, the Rural Health Network of Monroe County, providing primary healthcare, and GCC, providing mobile psychiatric care at SFCSC. The target population for this project is the homeless.

GCC has achieved and maintained a positive history of programmatic and fiscal contract management, receiving consecutive contract awards from DCF, Florida Department of Corrections, Monroe County Board of County Commissioners, Monroe County Sheriff�s Office, and Monroe County School District. In 1998, GCC was awarded a 3-year supportive services contract through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide detoxification services for the homeless. In a competitive process, HUD awarded GCC increased funding to continue and expand these services during the period 2001-2005.

GCC is a designated provider for Medicare, Medicaid, and Healthy Kids/Kidcare and accepts many commercial health insurance plans. The agency has increased its revenues through effective billing and collections procedures. As a community mental health center funded by DCF, GCC is required to provide services to the community without regard to income. Clients who do not have third-party coverage and who do not have the ability to pay the full standard fee are offered a sliding fee rate based on family size and income. In order to apply for the reduced rate, clients are required to supply GCC documentation of family income.

14 CARF Accredited Programs:

  • Case Management/Services Coordination: Mental Health (Adults)
  • Case Management/Services Coordination: Mental Health (Children and Adolescents)
  • Community Integration: Psychological Rehabilitation (Consumer-Run)
  • Crisis Stabilization: Mental Health (Adults)
  • Detoxification: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)
  • Diversion/Intervention: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Children and Adolescents)
  • Outpatient Treatment: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)
  • Outpatient Treatment: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Children and Adolescents)
  • Outpatient Treatment: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Criminal Justice)
  • Outpatient Treatment: Integrated: AOD/MH (Adults)
  • Outpatient Treatment: Integrated: AOD/MH (Children and Adolescents)
  • Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (Adults)
  • Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (Children and Adolescents)
  • Prevention: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Children and Adolescents)

Guidance/Care Center Inc. is sponsored by:

  • State of Florida, Department of Children and Families
  • Thriving Mind South Florida
  • Monroe County
  • Commission for Transportation Disadvantaged
  • and other governmental/private entities.

Client fees and donations are also necessary for the operation of the Guidance/Care Center Inc. Private donations are welcome and are tax deductible

Equal Opportunity
GCC does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, religion, color, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.