Avita Takes Over Opportunity House in Lavonia

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

Avita Community Partners of northeast Georgia has officially taken over Opportunity House in Lavonia.

Opportunity House was a program that served adults with cognitive disabilities.

The former Opportunity House in Lavonia closed for good in September and was located in a building owned by Carry On Trailers.

Avita CEO Cindy McGlaughlin said Opportunity House board members contacted her office about taking over the program.

“We met with the board of Opportunity House and they decided they were going to dissolve their organization,” Avita CEO Cindy McGlaughlin said. “They contacted us because they needed to donate their physical assets to an organization that deals with physical and mental disabilities.”

McGlauglin said that after coming up to Lavonia, meeting with the board and touring the facility, she recommended Avita take over the program.

According to McGlaughlin, they are bringing in a director to run the program from their office in Hartwell and are currently looking for one more part-time staff member.

Avita serves the 13 county area in Northeast Georgia and offers similar programs in Toccoa, Hartwell, and Carnesville.

Originally founded as Georgia Mountains Community Services,  Avita Community Partners was formed by the 1993 Georgia State Legislature to serve persons experiencing the disabling effects of mental illness, developmental disabilities, and addictive diseases.

McGlaughlin said the Lavonia office will offer a similar program to those in other communities.

“Some of the services will be provided at the new location and they will also go out into the community as well,” McGlaughlin said.

The former Opportunity House building is now being renovated to create office space and to make it more handicapped accessible.

McGlaughlin said they plan to open the Lavonia office next month.

“We hope to be up and running by early November. So as soon as the renovations are done and we can get over there,” she said. “So, until we actually are operating there, the best way to contact us would be through our office in Hartwell.”

Anyone with questions about getting their loved one enrolled in the Avita program in Lavonia should call the Hartwell office at 706-376-4002.