Editor's note: The Samaritan House asked that the name of the client Patch spoke with be withheld so that his recovery program isn't compromised. John will be used in place of his real name.
When John completed his rehab program for opiate addiction in July, he didn't think a halfway home like Samaritan House would be a good fit.
"I did not want to come in any way, shape or form," John said. "My plan was to get in my truck and go."
Almost three months later, John is nearing his graduation date from Samaritan House, and his attitude about the place has changed.
"I think there is a lot of good people here who helped me find my path," John said. "They really seem to care here."
The house is a 16-bed state-certified halfway house that caters exclusively to men that have completed a detox program but are still recovering from an alcohol or drug addiction. All men must get a job, participate in therapy and stay sober.
"There aren't enough beds. There's always a waiting list," said Mike Goldfaden, the lead counselor and director of the house. "When people get placed on the waiting list, they often fall through the cracks."
So, Goldfaden and the Samaritan House's board of directors will launch a “Campus of Recovery” campaign on Friday at the house's annual celebration dinner at Quiet Waters Park. The goal is to raise $600,000 to build a new 16-bed dormitory, a space for outpatient counseling, an outdoor pavilion and pave a asphalt driveway and parking lot.
The board has already raised almost $300,000, and the state plans to contribute a challenge grant to match up to $100,000 in donations—leaving the facility $200,000 shy of its fundraising goal.
The expansion will allow Samaritan House to provide more clients with a halfway house, a sober living house and outpatient counseling. Goldfaden said the idea is to ease people recovering from addiction back into society while building a strong network of support around them that lowers their chance of relapse.
"There is big push from the state to see a continuum of care," Goldfaden said.
As it stands the Samaritan House has a nine-bed transitional living facility, but that still leaves nearly half its clients without a place to go after graduation.
"When the expansion is completed, we will have more beds to transition them to," Goldfaden said.
Whether they move to transitional housing or not, the men who graduate from his house often already return for dinners with the current clients and to hang out and play basketball.
John isn't sure yet whether he will find his own place or take an open bed at the transitional house. What he is sure of is that he will be back at Samaritan House.
"The greatest thing about the Samaritan House is there is no technical end," John said. "What better way to say thank you than by returning to the house, and maybe helping the newcomer."
To donate to the Samaritan House, please call (410) 269-5605.