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First residential substance abuse house opens in CNY

By ANNA MEILER

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) – Johnson Park Center celebrated a new alcohol and substance abuse program on Thursday.

The organization became certified by the NYS Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services this month, allowing them to open a center that is the first of its kind in Central New York.

It’s a residential home where moms can recover from abuse without being separated from their kids.

“We’re going to try to help people recover from drugs, but try to help them do it in a neighborhood in a house they have a key to and with their family so they don’t have to leave their kids to check into a rehab facility, so that they can do it all together and we can address the issues of the children as well as the adults,” said Marques Phillips, the Public Information Officer at Johnson Park Central.

On Thursday, the organization held a luncheon to thank all the programs that have contributed to cleaning up the Corn Hill area. JPC has been tackling drugs, violence and homelessness in the area for nearly two decades.

Phillips grew up in the area, and now he’s part of the effort.

“I know three people that were shot in this park. Two of them were killed. We don’t want it to just be better, ‘okay no one’s dying,’ we want it to be the best,” said Phillips.

On Thursday, Phillips looked on as the ribbon was cut, officially opening the house. It has six units and there will be a wide range of resources available.

“Whether it be getting monetary support, financial support through the county, getting educational support, other things so really a holistic approach to their life,” said Andy Lopez-Williams, a Clinical Operations Director who will be overseeing the clinical services.

State Senator Joe Griffo attended the event and offered his support and praise for the organization.

“This is another example, another variation of something they believe will be a meaningful contribution to get people contributing again to society and living a wholesome life and I think that’s what it’s all about. If you look at each segment of the service that they try to provide here and what they try to impart on participants, I think that’s where it all comes together and this is the latest illustration,” said Sen. Griffo.

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