BENNINGTON — A new transitional housing facility for those in recovery from addiction is slated to open this June, according to its co-founders.
Construction on the facility — which broke ground this fall at 608 Francestown Road, the former location of the long-gone Highland Inn across from the Crotched Mountain ski resort — is about 50 percent complete, said co-founder Stephen Bryan.
Projects complete as of Wednesday afternoon include electrical work and plumbing, as well as installation of a new septic system, new doors and windows.
“The more difficult ... complicated tasks of the job are behind us,” Bryan said.
The 40-bed residential care and transitional housing facility will provide both emergency and long-term care to New Hampshire residents recovering from addiction.
Bryan co-founded the facility with his friend and fellow Massachusetts resident John Christian. Both have varying degrees of experience in substance-use treatment.
Christian has worked for recovery programs for more than 25 years, including with many clients from New Hampshire, while Bryan is a real estate developer who oversaw several addiction-treatment center projects.
“There’s just a tremendous need in New Hampshire for substance-use treatment programs, and we are looking to fill that gap,” Christian said.
New Hampshire’s number of fatal overdoses skyrocketed starting in 2013 and 2014 as part of a nationwide epidemic. Fatal overdoses peaked in 2017, with a confirmed total of 490.
In 2018, New Hampshire ranked third highest in the country for opioid-related deaths per capita, according to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, but that same year was reported to have the second-lowest level of access to substance-use treatment.
Last year marked the second year in a row that the number of drug deaths in the state dropped, with 2020 likely following suit, according to the data thus far.
Bridge Street Recovery will be for adults who are at least 30 days into sobriety and need help transitioning back into everyday life.
The facility plans to accept any form of insurance, including Medicaid.
The transitional housing clients will have the option to attend treatment, such as substance-use counseling, at the facility six days a week if needed, the co-founders have said. They will also have full access to treatment staff of varying specialties, ranging from clinicians to peer recovery workers.
Additionally, clients will receive job counseling and help finding permanent housing.
Stays at Bridge Street Recovery can range from 30 days to six months, depending on the client’s needs.
And as the opening date nears, Christian said, the facility is just about ready to hire its employees. The hope is to have 12 full-time people on staff, he said, consisting of recovery specialists and substance-use and mental-health clinicians. Those interested in applying can call 255-7070.
Peterborough detox facility on horizon
Christian and Bryan are also planning to open a detox facility under the same name in Peterborough, with hopes to break ground in late August.
The 64-bed facility will be for people who are just coming off substances, may be going into withdrawal and need a more intense form of treatment.
The idea is to have clients start in Peterborough and then come to Bennington to continue their recovery process.
“There’s the need for treatment on all levels,” Christian said.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance-use disorder, The Doorway — a referral hub for people to get help with substance-use disorders — is at 24 Railroad St. in Keene and is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Support through the state’s 24/7 hotline is available by calling 211.