The county commissioners got the money to turn the old Golden Acres facility into an opioid recovery center to help address the drug crisis.
Commissioners sought $500,000 in state funding to help pay the estimated $850,000 cost to get the building ready for its new role. State Sen. Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville, announced Friday that the money is in the state’s $2.62 billion capital budget that Gov. Kasich signed into law Friday.
“We appreciate the senator advocating for this project. We hope it will be a game changer in addressing the serious opioid epidemic facing Lorain County,” said Matt Lundy, county commissioner.
Manning said securing the funding is important for Lorain County.
“This effort, along with others, is our priority locally and in the state Legislature,” she said. “We must continue to work hard to combat the opioid crisis facing our state and provide resources, like this center, that will help people on the road to recovery, get their lives back.”
The new facility, Recovery-One Lorain County, will be a one-stop recovery facility.
The Nord Family Foundation, The LCADA Way, Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County and the Lorain County Board of Mental Health are all partnering with the commissioners in the endeavor.
Elaine Georges, president of the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County, said Recovery One came about because the partners committed to securing the capital, creating a plan and providing operational funding. The center will be a holistic care center providing services for people in active addiction and supporting them toward long-term recovery.
“The services that will be designed for this facility will assist in addressing the devastating human, economic and societal impacts of opioid abuse, overdose and death in Lorain County as well as offering services for other substance use disorders, including alcoholism,” she said.
Kathleen Kerns, executive director of the Lorain County Board of Mental Health, reiterated the same sentiment.
“The mental health network is ready to contribute expertise and partnership to the local team as they develop this new resource for residents who are struggling with mental health and substance use disorders,” she said.
Manning has long worked to put Lorain County at the forefront of addiction services, said Thomas Stuber, president and CEO of The LCADA Way.
“Senator Manning has continually stepped forward to help lead efforts to combat the opioid epidemic plaguing our region, dating back to the (naloxone) initiative to her most recent efforts to assist in improving access and increasing funding for those struggling with addiction,” he said. “She has proven her commitment to addressing our region’s most pressing challenges.”
It will be months before the drug treatment facility opens, but Lundy said the county is hoping the state will expedite funding. Once that happens, the first step of the process will be to get the building ready.
“We need to stabilize the building in terms of utilities,” he said. “That means the furnace, air conditioning and those types of things are working and efficient.”
County Administrator Jim Cordes has said the building isn’t in as bad of shape as some may think. The commissioners voted to shut down the county-run Golden Acres Nursing Home in September 2015 because the county home was losing money, but there were residents in the building “until a year and a half ago,” Lundy said.