Donors help rehab housing for drug rehabilitation center

James Lupp, left, points out some major improvements Friday to the men’s house kitchen of The Salvation Army’s adult rehabilitation program.

Not even two years ago, Salvation Army leaders thought they had no choice but to shutter a local drug-rehabilitation program.

With the nonprofit organization bleeding money, the future looked bleak for the much-touted program that had long reformed addicts’ lives.

After some creative shuffling of operations and interest from key donors, the program is plugging away. Even better, the more than 100-year-old house at 903 Grand Ave. that clients call “home” has received a major face-lift.

“This old house has new life to it,” program director James Lupp said while taking visitors on tours Friday. “There was so many things we wished we could have done. We had a wish list that was a mile long.”

At least a few hundred feet of that list was covered during a recent remodel. The kitchen ceiling in the men’s house was falling in because of water damage, and carpets had seen better days. Both were replaced. The building also received a new roof, windows and exterior siding, and a new shed replaced one that literally was falling apart.

When funding for the nonprofit looked gloomiest, a few organizations and individuals came through. A former client donated $25,000, and United Way of Mesa County chimed in with funds. The Housing and Building Association of Northwestern Colorado adopted the project.

Capt. Dan Wilson shifted operations at The Salvation Army’s warehouse, 1038 Ute Ave., a store that cost more money to operate than its other Grand Junction thrift stores earned.

A client who was a professional painter offered to paint the home’s interior. Another client who has worked to remodel older homes offered to restore the house’s interior wood to its original luster.

Up to 38 people serving six-month drug and alcohol rehabilitation stints occupy two houses on the property. Clients pay $3,100 for the program, but scholarships are available. The program, which is the only community-based model of its kind on the Western Slope, usually has a waiting list, but a few spots are open now, Lupp said.

Clients include those who are addicted to alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine, LSD and other drugs, Lupp said.

“It’s been a huge undertaking,” he said. “The right people just kept showing up at the right time.”


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