County loses addiction recovery house operator

Residential addiction treatment services will soon be on hold in Adams County.

The Recovery Advocacy Service Empowerment (RASE) Project, which was operating the county-owned Mercy House, will stop providing services at the end of this month, County Manager Steve Nevada said Wednesday. The county is seeking another provider, Nevada said.

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“We didn’t anticipate them ending services,” Nevada said. “They just said they cannot continue to operate. They said financially it did not work for them.”

Colin Suber, RASE Project director of operations, said the problem began when RASE was unable to find a doctor for its medically-assisted recovery program. The program, Suber said, was expected to help fund the house’s operations.

“I was disappointed that this had to happen. I am a person who likes to see things through,” Suber said. “I have always looked at Adams County as a challenge. Unfortunately, they are quite behind in 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. Rent was to then increase to $36,000 per year for the next five years.

Nevada said he has contacted other providers and hopes services can resume soon. Those receiving services from RASE are being transitioned to other programs, Suber said.

The Mercy House Recovery Center is located in a county-owned building at 45 W. High St., Gettysburg. It opened in May 2021 and provides support services to those in need of addiction treatment.

The center offers medically-assisted recovery services, a recovery specialist program, counseling for those who recently survived an overdose, and support for family members of those suffering from addiction. 

The center has accommodations for five men recovering from addiction. Apartments are single or double occupancy. 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.

The Mercy House is a community collaboration, spearheaded by the county owning the building and providing parking and maintenance. It was funded almost completely with 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 in Mercy House.

“Hopefully everything that was donated can be reused,” he said. 

RASE Project will continue to operate a warm handoff program in Adams County, which provides treatment specialists who respond to WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital when an overdose patient checks into the hospital. The specialist provides the patient with treatment options available after they check out from the hospital. RASE will also continue to provide a specialist who will work with the county’s Children and Youth Services department.

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​Alex J. Hayes, Editor, has spent almost two decades in the Adams County news business. He is heavily involved in the community through his volunteer roles at the Rotary Club of Gettysburg, Saint 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 ahayes83@gmail.com.

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