Orlando Center Serves Poorest of Poor Saved at Last Minute  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

09/07/2014 -ATIN - Just in time as a key residential addiction treatment center that helps the very poorest of the poorest in the Orlando area was about to close its doors for lack of funding, help has come in the form of the Hope Lutheran Church, which has agreed to buy the 26-acre House of Hope in Wildwood, FL. The center was bought for almost $700K, with plans to extensively renovate the seven highly dilapidated structures on the campus where currently 26 males attend faith-based treatment that is completely without charge to the client.

Youth Challenge Neglect

According to published reports, the program's director and lead pastor, Bishop Samuel Cotto, said help came just in time, following a months-long battle to keep up with bills and expenses on the neglected campus, portions of which are owned by Youth Challenge Florida and Youth Challenge International, based in Hartford. Cotto said that due to the distance of the Wildwood, FL House of Hope from the Hartford, CT-based Youth Challenge International may have contributed in some neglect in running the program properly.

Doing Something for the Local Community

Key church governing council member Len Robertson said that when they learned of the dire straits the New Hope center was in, the church council voted overwhelmingly to support New Hope's resurgence. Bishop Cotto told a local reporter: "We got zero help from them [Youth Challenge Hartford] which just seemed to want to divest itself of the property as soon as possible". Ironically, Bishop Cotto is a former addict who got clean attending a Teen Challenge program up north.

Plans to Double Capacity

Robertson says the plans to renovate the property will take 2-3 yrs and cost just slightly more than a quarter million dollars, boosting capacity to 50 beds. Needless to say with the HUGE cutbacks in addiction treatment services from the states that generally speaking have cut enormously in providing treatment free of charge, efforts like those described above are going to be absolutely critical to keep the flow of services available to the poorest of the poor.

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