A small crowd of donors and supporters gathered June 5 at the Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic's main campus on Rush Boulevard to break ground on the Frank and Pearl Gelbman Recovery House.
Located in Youngstown, the Gelbman Recovery House is a supportive services annex to the main clinic.
''It will have eight beds and will be a step down from detox,'' said Neil Kennedy board president Craig Steinhoff. ''It will be a safe place to live.''
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Officially breaking ground for the new Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic's Gelbman House on June 5 were Huntington Bank Senior Vice President Dave Sabine, Neil Kennedy Director Jerry Carter, Neil Kennedy Board President Craig Steinhoff, and Orman Hall, Director of the Governor's Cabinet Opiate Action Team.
The new ''safe home'' will be located to the south of the main campus at the end of Rush Boulevard. It will have frontage on Emery Street and will look similar to any other neighborhood home but with the special mission of helping patients kick their addiction for good.
During the ground breaking, Orman Hall, the director of the Governor John Kasich's Opiate Action Team, spoke to those present about the need for facilities such as Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic, which operates the Youngstown main campus and an Austintown branch locally.
''In 1979, there were less than 200 drug overdoses [in Ohio],'' Hall said. ''In 2012, the last year we have compiled records for, there were 1,914 drug overdoses.''
He said a lot has to do with heroin. There has been a shift from prescription opiates to heroin over the past decade, and the numbers are continuing to grow.
''The work here at Neil Kennedy is profoundly important,'' Hall said.
He said people on the road to recovery will have relapses, and that is why it is important to have facilities like the Gelbman House to provide the needed services.
There was no mention in the ceremony of when the new structure would be completed, but work has begun on the vacant lot area where the structure will sit.