Medina County is poised this month to sign a two-year lease for an addiction recovery center at the former Medina Steak & Seafood restaurant in Medina.
County Chief Probation Officer Veronica Perry secured $300,000 in state grant funding to start the center this year at 538 W. Liberty St.
She obtained a letter of intent to open the facility from county commissioners Monday.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction provides such grants to help counties open centers offering services to recovering addicts.
“I’m very excited and think this fills a gap in services offered to those in recovery,” she said Monday. “This will provide extra support for former addicts when they graduate from their (treatment) programs.”
The facility is envisioned as a safe place for those who have completed their addiction recovery and want to remain connected to a “sober-living” environment, Perry said.
Although the regional opiate epidemic spurred the need for the center, she said it would welcome those who have battled addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
Perry emphasized that the facility would be a “support center” rather than a “treatment center.” It would offer activities such as enrichment classes and vocational training.
County officials are in talks with Ken Collins, the owner of Medina Steak & Seafood, to sign a two-year, $120,000 lease. Perry said the county ultimately could use the grant funds to purchase the building but would make that decision after the center is up and running.
Collins did not return calls for comment Monday.
The asking price for the building is $469,000. Medina Steak & Seafood closed in February 2015 after 17 years of operation.
“It may make financial sense to buy the building, but for now the lease deal is the focus,” Perry said.
She said the building is ideal because it offers an extra kitchen on the second floor that could be used for vocational training and meal preparation. It also has 50 parking spaces that would come with the lease deal.
If the lease is signed as planned this month, the facility could open as soon as May 1.
The county probation department will administer the grant, but a nonprofit group and an executive board could be brought in to help operate the facility. Perry said county officials have been in discussions with Robby’s Voice, a Medina addiction awareness organization, to take the nonprofit role.
Grant funds also will support hiring a “house manager” to oversee daily operations. It is envisioned that volunteers would supplement the manager’s work in the evenings and on weekends in order to allow for extended hours of operation.
Contact reporter Marina Malenic at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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