Officials broke ground Friday afternoon on the Mountaineer Recovery Village, a first-of-its-kind sober-living housing development in the Eastern Panhandle.
The development is part of Mountaineer Recovery Center (MRC), a substance use treatment campus in Kearneysville. It’s set to provide its patients with housing and transportation after treatment and help them re-enter the workforce.
CEO Jonathan Hartiens said it’s a way to help provide the resources and environment needed for those struggling with substance use disorder.
“It’s so easy for people to revert to drug and alcohol abuse when they hit hurdles trying to reintegrate into the community,” Hartiens said. “Those hurdles can feel so insurmountable and with no other resources, they just as easily say ‘forget it.’”
The first homes being built are focused on housing for those who have been involved with the justice system, including those who have been recently released from incarceration and have been undergoing substance use treatment.
“One of the key components for people that are in recovery is to have a safe place to be,” said Neil McLaughlin of nonprofit Semper Liberi. The organization cooperates with the MRC to help those discharged from the program re-enter their communities. “Having a place where others around them identify with the issues they’re confronting as well is a much safer place to be than just going to the community at large.”
Among those present at the event were Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and state Delegate Jason Barrett, as well as representatives of Rep. Alex Mooney, Sen. Joe Manchin and Gov. Jim Justice.
“It’s a vision that’s coming to life,” Capito said. “Housing is very difficult for people who are transitioning and have been in recovery and are trying to set their lives on the positive course they want it to be on.”
The project has entered its first phase, building three homes that will house around 30 residents. The community is set to house around 200 families when completed.