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Mineola group gets $1.75M to fight substance abuse

Family & Children’s Association in Mineola is one of six sites to receive $1.75 million in state funds over the next five years to provide recovery and outreach services for those who are seeking help with substance and alcohol abuse.

The announcement was made Wednesday at the association’s headquarters by Arlene González-Sánchez, commissioner of the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

“Recovery from the disease of addiction is real and it is attainable with community-based supports and services,” she said, adding that the six organizations to house the new recovery community and outreach centers already “have a track record of providing quality services to those suffering from the disease of addiction.”

The new Long Island Recovery Community and Outreach Center, aimed at helping with substance and alcohol abuse, is expected to open its doors in late fall at St Peter’s Lutheran Church Parish and complex in Huntington Station, a spokesman for the association said. Among the key partners in this endeavor are the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, the Long Island Recovery Association and Families in Support of Treatment.

By year’s end, the new facility is expected to serve 250 individuals; 400 in its second year; 500 in its third; 625, fourth; 725, fifth, the association said.

“It is our intention in the midst of an unprecedented heroin crisis, to create a center that will assist this very vulnerable population on their journey towards wellness,” said Jeffrey Reynolds, the association’s president and chief executive.

The $10.5 million funding was announced Wednesday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, with an eye to providing health, wellness and other kinds of support for individuals and their families. The new centers, which are part of his “multipronged approach to addressing substance use disorders,” are in direct response to a need expressed by participants in the Governor’s Heroin Task Force, according to a news release.

The centers, with daytime, evening and weekend hours, are to provide a safe, welcoming, nonclinical, and alcohol- and drug-free setting, the release said.

Staff can help individuals and families “navigate the addiction treatment system and secure insurance coverage” for various treatment levels, the release said.

Recovery will be promoted “through skill building, recreation, wellness education, employment readiness, civic restoration opportunities, and other social activities,” the release said.

Family & Children’s Association is the only organization on Long Island to receive the funding. Others are in Staten Island, Newburgh, Saratoga Springs, Watertown and Buffalo.

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