BRISTOL - A new facility to combat addiction and lift others out of difficult situations is opening up in Bristol. The new Bristol Lifestyle Recovery Center is slated to open in one month. Leaders of the nonprofit addiction recovery center hope government leaders like Tim Kaine, who toured the facility Friday, can help find federal funds to sustain the operation. That's after raising donations from private sources for more than two years.
The former retirement home transforming into a new 240-bed addiction recovery residential facility.
"A 38-percent increase in opioid-related deaths in Virginia from 2015 to 2016," Kaine said, "and sadly that's been a time when we've really been paying attention to it."
Leading the tour was Bob Garrett, president of the facility's parent company, Fairview Housing. With only ten people on staff now and 20 to be hired soon, initial plans are to admit 30 to 40 people for the comprehensive recovery program.
"We're going to take it very slow, and get help as we go, and just bring people in as we can," Garrett said.
Among those targeted for help are the homeless, veterans, people transitioning out of prison, pregnant women addicted to drugs, young people aging out of the foster care system, and those recommended by drug court.
"Just a step through this hallway takes you from Tennessee into Virginia, and because the facility sits on the state line, administrators have to work with drug court policy from both states.
The cost to stay here will be $800 a month but directors are open to giving residents up to 90 days to start paying.
"It takes them a while to get back on their feet," Garrett said, "and then they're going to have to find a job which we will assist with."
Garrett is hoping the senator can help secure supplemental grants.
"Some kind of pilot project funding for innovative funding," Kaine said. "You often find that with federal programs, and if you can maintain in the budget the ability for there to be these grant programs, then these guys will do well."
The recovery center will have an open house Friday May 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday May 6 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday May 7 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Directors are also seeking volunteers that weekend to help get the facility move-in ready. To help, contact Linda at (276) 356-6547, or the Launch Team Hotline at (423) 390-8684