Ground broken for women’s recovery house in Youngstown

By Peter H. Milliken


Ground was broken for a new 12-bed recovery-supportive housing facility for women adjacent to the Neil Kennedy Recovery Centers’ main campus, formerly known as the Alcoholic Clinic, at 2151 Rush Blvd.

The new recovery house will be NKRC’s fourth temporary residential facility for people in the early stages of recovery from alcohol or drug abuse.

The new $380,000 halfway house, for which construction already is fully paid, is being made possible by an anonymous donor and by funds from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board and the J. Ford Crandall Memorial Foundation.

At the donor’s request, the new facility will be named for the local eye doctors, Dr. George Pugh, who is deceased; and Drs. Albert Cinelli and H.S. Wang, all ophthalmologists; and Dr. Robert Gerberry, an optometrist.

The opening of the Pugh, Cinelli, Wang and Gerberry House will follow construction of Gelbman House in 2014 and Doc’s Place in 2015, both also halfway houses near the NKRC campus.

“This is a major, major moment in the middle of some really negative crises that are going on in our state and our nation and in our community around drug overdoses,” Carolyn Givens, executive vice president of the Neil Kennedy Recovery Centers, said during the Tuesday ceremony.

“This house will make it possible for us to serve more people, and, ultimately, that’s what we’re here for,” she said.

“The needs are great. The problem is huge, and we just hope to progress and do the best we can to help the community out there that’s suffering from substance abuse,” Dr. Cinelli told the audience.

“It seems like, every day, we’re seeing more and more stories of people who just can’t get themselves out of a lifestyle that they’re gotten themselves into,” Mayor John A. McNally said.

“We have folks, not only here, but other places throughout the community, that are committed to helping people, if they want the help, and if they want to make that commitment to help themselves,” the mayor said.

NKRC was the nation’s first nonprofit addiction-treatment facility of its kind.

Since its inception in 1946 as the Youngstown Committee on Alcoholism Inc., NKRC has provided the Mahoning Valley with a secure substance-abuse treatment facility.

In 1999, it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gateway Rehab, an Aliquippa, Pa.-based private, nonprofit organization that conducts addiction education, prevention, research and treatment activities.

Gateway serves almost 1,700 people daily through four divisions in Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

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