Castleton Drug Rehab Center Gets Provisional License

 
The Sunset House, a drug rehabilitation center for men ages 14 to 22 located on the site of a former residential community for troubled girls, received a six-month operating license from the state. Jarod Sherman, executive director of Hope and Community, Inc., the nonprofit opening the house, said the home at 511 Sand Hill Road would open in two weeks and treat eight men suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
 
Sherman said a center for women and halfway houses are in planning for other locations throughout Vermont. 
 
“Our cause is changing the life of youth in Vermont so we’ll just keep plugging along,” Sherman said Tuesday, after announcing that his first center, Sunset House, got notice of a provisional license to operate as a residential child care facility through January 2011. The center is located at 511 Sand Hill Road, the former site of a detention and crisis stabilization program for teen girls called Sand Hill Residential Community for Young Women.
 
That center closed in 2008, and Sherman closed on the 4.5-acre property this June. The Sunset House “intends to intervene with relationship and faith-based treatment, providing individual treatment and family work,” and address academic and vocational needs to assist youth realize their potential and individual growth, according to a licensing report provided by Brenda Dawson.
 
Dawson is a licensing social worker with the Vermont Department of Children and Families who worked directly with the nonprofit through the licensing process. The license allows the house to treat private clients who pay per-day fees, or referrals from intensive substance abuse programs, “providing them the opportunity to learn the skills to sustain long-term recovery.” 
 
Clients can stay anywhere from six to 18 months, according to the report.  “At this point, they intend to bring in kids slowly,” Dawson said. “Their plan is to grow and open up additional facilities across the state of Vermont.”
 
A typical license is two years but Dawson said Hope and Community, Inc., can apply for a year-long license when the provisional license expires. By Oct. 1, Hope and Community Inc.’s Board of Directors must submit revised bylaws prohibiting board members from being employees, according to the report.
 
The nonprofit also has to show that a closet missing from one bedroom is resolved and that the residence has a phone number by Sept. 1.  Also, a plan is needed for how volunteers and interns will be used, according to the report.
 
According to Sherman, the need for the program is there — he said he’s received a call from a family in Montpelier with a son with drug problems, and has referrals from state agencies. 
 
Sherman, a school counselor with experience in substance abuse recovery, cited a new report that he said stated that the leading cause of death in adolescents is prescription drug use. Sherman said he also has a proposal with the Department of Corrections to treat and house released inmates through a separate program. 
 
Hope and Community, Inc., has earned less than $100,000 from donations and hopes to raise $1 million for various substance abuse programs, Sherman said. 
 
Proposals for start-up grants are pending with Rutland Regional Medical Center’s James T. Bowse Community Health Trust and the Richard E. and Deborah L. Tarrant Foundation of Colchester, according to representatives of both agencies. 
 
Castleton Town Hall hasn’t received many calls on the program and Select Board member Patrick Eagan said “haven’t heard a thing” from residents concerned or not concerned about the incoming program.