County loses addiction recovery house operator
Residential addiction treatment services will soon be discontinued in Adams County.
The Recovery Advocacy Service Empowerment Project (RASE), which operated with the county-owned Mercy House, will stop providing services at the end of this month, County Manager Steve Nevada said Wednesday. The county is looking for another provider, Nevada said.
“We didn’t anticipate them ending the services,” Nevada said. “They just said they can’t continue to operate. They said financially it didn’t work out for them.”
Colin Suber, director of operations for the RASE project, said the problem began when RASE was unable to find a physician for its medically assisted recovery program. The program, Suber said, was expected to help fund the home’s operations.
“I was disappointed that this had to happen. I’m a person who likes to see things through,” Suber said. “I’ve always seen Adams County as a challenge. Unfortunately, they’re way behind the times when it comes to treatment services.”
The agreement between RASE and the county states RASE was to pay the county $24,000 for the first five years of its 10-year lease. The rent would then increase to $36,000 per year for the next five years.
Nevada said it has reached out to other providers and hopes services can resume soon. Those receiving services from RASE are transitioning to other programs, Suber said.
Mercy House Recovery Center is located in a county-owned building at 45 W. High St., Gettysburg. It opened in May 2021 and offers support services to those in need of addiction treatment.
The center offers medically assisted recovery services, a specialist recovery program, counseling for recent overdose survivors and support for family members of those suffering from addiction.
The center houses five men recovering from addiction. The apartments are for one or two residents. Residents share bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen. Residents must maintain first-shift employment, be on the road to recovery, and attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
Mercy House is a community cooperative led by the county that owns the building and provides parking and maintenance. It was funded almost entirely by donations, including a $55,000 grant from the Adams County Community Foundation.
Suber said physical donations made to the RASE project, such as furniture and beds, will remain at Mercy House.
“Hopefully everything that’s donated can be reused,” he said.
Project RASE will continue to operate a warm transfer program in Adams County, which provides treatment specialists who respond to WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital when an overdose patient is checked into the hospital. The specialist offers the patient the treatment options available after he leaves the hospital. RASE will also continue to provide a specialist who will work with the county’s Children and Youth Services department.
Alex J. Hayes, editor, has spent almost two decades in the Adams County news business. He is very involved in the community through his volunteer roles at the Rotary Club of Gettysburg, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, United Way of Adams County and Healthy Adams County. Alex is also a freelance writer for several other publications in South Central Pennsylvania.
Alex encourages readers to contact him at [email protected].