January 2, 2019 9:55:26 AM
As of this week, Community Counseling Services will take over the running of Recovery House.
The announcement came less than two months after outgoing Recovery House director Stephanie Johnson announced she would leave her position to become director at S.A.F.E. Inc., a women's shelter in Tupelo.
Recovery House, located in the New Hope area, is a 90-day residential program of drug and alcohol addiction treatment specifically for women, along with a transitional housing program. It has served about 1,500 women since its founding in 1985 and serves about 20 women at a time.
Johnson said as of right now, there are not going to be major changes to Recovery House's programs.
"The mission is staying the same, the nonprofit is staying the same," Johnson told The Dispatch Tuesday. "It will be a program of Community Counseling Services (instead of an independent nonprofit)."
Keenyn Wald, director of Alcohol and Drug Services at CCC and who will be taking over the program, agreed.
"They have a long and storied history in this area, in the state, in the Southeast," Wald said. "They're really renowned for the work that they do out there. When this conversation started, the idea was not 'Oh my gosh, look what we can do with this place,' more of 'We've got to give this place the opportunity to keep doing what they're doing.'
"I'd like to think we can enhance what they've done, but at the same time they were doing good work and our hope is to continue and let them keep doing what they're doing and grow like I would want any residential facility to grow," he added.
CCC already offers in-house residential treatment services for men and women at its Pines and Cady Hills locations in downtown Columbus. Wald said Recovery House will continue as a separate addiction treatment facility at its own location which will continue to treat women only.
Recovery House's board will dissolve and decisions will be made through CCC's board of trustees. However, Wald stressed, the majority of Recovery House's staff will remain in their positions, giving CCC about 15 more employees.
Wald also said CCC would take on Recovery House's costs and continue receiving the same funding. The bulk of Recovery House's money comes from grants, though clients may pay up to $1,300, according to previous reporting by The Dispatch. It costs Recovery House roughly $6,000 to house a client for 90 days.
Recovery House has recently lost about $250,000 in grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, causing the nonprofit to roll back on some of its transitional housing programs. Johnson said she hopes CCC, which is a larger nonprofit, will be able to absorb more of the costs for the program.
"Community Counseling is going to be able to offer a lot more to our clients," she said. "It's going to be a win-win situation."
She added she plans to be available to help Wald, answering questions and helping deal with funding and other operations as she transitions to her new position in Tupelo.
"I feel good about this transition or merger because I feel that Keenyn has a passion for helping those suffering with addiction, and especially women," she said. "So the reason I've had to serve women and children I feel will be carried out by Keenyn if at all possible."
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