- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 10, 2018

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The organization appointed to take over one of New Hampshire’s largest drug treatment centers is close to deciding which programs it will continue and which will be picked up by other providers.

Families in Transition was appointed to take over Serenity Place in Manchester last month after the nonprofit center was put into receivership due to financial problems. Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers said Wednesday a transition plan his office helped develop would be presented to Families in Transition’s board of directors for approval later Wednesday night.

The plan calls for the organization to continue offering crisis respite services and two transitional housing programs. The state is working to transition about half a dozen other programs to other groups, Meyers said.

“The plan is going forward,” he told Gov. Chris Sununu and the Executive Council on Wednesday. “I think we’re finding a home for most everything.”

Authorities have said Serenity Place, which provides residential, outpatient and support services to 3,000 clients per year, had been operating at a deficit of about $800,000 before it was put into receivership Dec. 20. Since then, the attorney general’s office has begun an investigation, and the Executive Council approved a $180,000 emergency loan to cover payroll and health insurance expenses for last month and this month.

Meyers said all but $22,000 of the total has been spent. While there have been some hiccups, both he and Sununu said they have not heard of people being denied treatment or services. For example, the current transitional housing programs have 30 beds. Families in Transition plans to cap the number at 20. The state will work with the city of Manchester and others to make up the difference, Meyers said.

“We have a sense of urgency about this,” Meyers said.

The president of Families in Transition did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. A court hearing is set for Jan. 23.

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