- Associated Press - Saturday, February 11, 2017

WINONA, Minn. (AP) - A halfway house for men recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is opening next month in Winona, and organizers say it’s sorely needed.

The Winona Daily News (https://bit.ly/2kwrQW7) reports that the Winona Recovery House will be first inpatient facility from Common Ground, an organization that runs substance abuse treatment centers in southeast Minnesota.

Common Ground clinical director Eric Spagenski says the new home will provide support to addicts at a critical time in their recovery. He said addicts, especially in Winona, lack the resources they need to settle into society after spending time in jail or treatment facilities.

“We’re seeing people go from jail, to residential (and back to jail),” Spagenski said. “There weren’t services for a continuum of care.”

The organization already has centers in Rochester, Red Wing and Winona, and currently provides substance abuse treatment to inmates at the Winona County Jail.

The new inpatient facility is housed in a renovated three-story building with room for 16 clients. It will be run by nine staff members, and at least one will be on-site and awake at all times. Clients will spend an average of 90 days at the house, attending group therapy and individual counseling, and finding jobs that will make them self-supportive once they leave the program.

The goal is to release clients and turn them over to less stringent recovery programs, said Common Ground counselor Steve Coddington.

Common Ground CEO Mattea Schmitz said some local residents pushed back when they first heard about the project, but that concerns were largely addressed during a community forum last summer.

She said the halfway house won’t pose a threat, noting that clients will be held to strict rules, including limits on when and why they can leave the home. Men who have committed sex offenses won’t be admitted to the program, she said.

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Information from: Winona Daily News, https://www.winonadailynews.com


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