EATON — On Tuesday, Jan. 26, the Preble County Board of Zoning Appeals approved temporary zoning for a Sojourner residential drug treatment facility in Preble County — to be located in Eaton.
The temporary zoning will give the house a year until permanent zoning is required. Approval came after the board rejected the project in November.
It was unanimously approved by the board after numerous people attended the meeting to support the opening of a local residential treatment facility. In November it was unanimously turned down.
The house will be open to women in Preble County and will feature 16 beds, according to director of Mental Health and Recovery Amy Raynes. Raynes also said, only Preble County residents will have access to the treatment center.
She is hopeful the center can be open in the next four months, and expects to have an open house for the public to tour the facility before it becomes operational.
Raynes said Sojourner purchased the house and said the Preble County Mental Health and Recovery will be responsible for paying for the room and board used at the facility.
Raynes said the cost of room and board is about $21 per day for the Preble County facility, compared to the Mental Health and Recovery Board paying as much as $135 dollars per day when sending residents out of the county.
Residents who enter the facility will enter medical detox provided in Butler County, and will then return to the Sojourner Recovery and Treatment Facility in Preble County to continue their rehab, which Raynes says lasts anywhere from 30 days to six months.
Raynes estimated the facility would be able to see up to 100 Preble County residents per year for treatment.
The treatment facility will be run by addiction specialists and case workers provided by Sojourner, according to Raynes.
Raynes said keeping people in Preble County can help with the treatment process. “Their family can be involved in the treatment process, their families can be involved in family therapy sessions,” Raynes said, noting the program is completely voluntary. “Most people don’t want to leave their community and Preble County is their home.”
Raynes said residents in Preble County will still have the option to attend treatment in Butler County if they prefer to leave the area.
“Our goal is to take them from residential treatment and take them into a healthy influence in their county so they can stay here and get better here, receive services here and grow here,” Raynes said of offering help locally.
Raynes explained, once people leave the facility they will continue to receive treatment from Sojourner, and the Mental Health and Recovery Board will help them find work and housing, as well as get them connected to outpatient services.
Raynes explained, the board can take referrals for treatment from numerous places and said the Mental Health and Recovery Board will have to approve residents who are to receive a bed in the treatment facility.
Raynes said a referral will then go through an assessment process to determine if they are ready to succeed in the program.
“Just because someone wants to go, it doesn’t mean they are ready — we don’t want to send people who are set up for failure,” she said.
She said she can take referrals from surrounding law enforcement, the Emergency Room, first responders, mental health specialists, the courts and Job and Family Services. She said she has even taken referrals from parents.
Raynes is hopeful to add a male treatment facility in the future and hopes the women’s treatment center will be able to offer a day care service at some point as well.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter at aschmidt_RH