The first addiction recovery center in Manchester is one step closer to opening. That's after the city’s planning board has approved a permit request to turn the former Hoitt Furniture Building into a 24/7 one-stop treatment facility.
Within the four-story building, the center plans to offer peer-mentoring and inpatient and outpatient care all in one place. Dana Lemire, who works with Hope for New Hampshire Recovery – the lead nonprofit behind this project - said having a one-stop shop will better connect people to the services they need.
“So right now there are so many organizations that are moving in the same direction, but they are duplicating a lot of inefficiencies and coming under one roof will really allow a command and control structure,” Lemire said, which is something that’s not offered anywhere else in the state.
Lemire adds this idea is something Manchester’s Police Chief Nick Willard has been asking for in the community -- a place where his officers can bring people to get help rather than locking them up.
“He could use the recovery center so he can have his officers when that small window of opportunity arises to bring a perspective person that is willing to make changes, he could bring them here and we could start that process,” Lemire said pointing to a similar idea that is being implemented in Gloucester, Mass. right now.
Currently, inpatient service providers such as Serenity Place and Phoenix House are interested in the site. Once Hope for New Hampshire Recovery moves to the new facility, the plan is to convert its old space into "Amber's Place." It would be a place where people seeking recovery can turn while they wait for treatment options to open up. The idea was inspired by Kriss Blevens, who lost her stepdaugher, Amber, to a heroin overdose in 2014 after she walked to the nearest drug house immediately after being released from the county jail.
Last year an estimated 400 people died from a drug overdose in New Hampshire.