The Warren Coalition wants to use this home at 200 N. Royal Ave. as a home for men recovering from addiction.

The Warren Coalition seeks to open its first house in Front Royal as a temporary home for men recovering from drug addiction.

The nonprofit organization tackling substance abuse in Warren County applied for a special-use permit from Front Royal that would allow for lodging at 200 N. Royal Ave. The Front Royal Planning Department will hold a public hearing on the permit application on March 15.

Coalition Executive Director Christa Shifflett said by phone Wednesday that the organization intends to use the building to provide transitional housing to men enrolled in a substance abuse recovery program. Residents would stay in the house for six to nine months, Shifflett said.

“These people will have to have been in recovery for a while,” Shifflett said. “It’s not a detox. It’s not a ‘oh I just kinda wanna stop using drugs, I want to come to this house.’ It’s not that kind of place.”

The coalition plans to rent a single room for $250 per week and each of the double rooms for $225 a week, Shifflett said. She pointed out that the rates compare with what local hotels charge per week for a room but residents at the coalition house also would have access to kitchen facilities and a staff member living in the building to help them find employment and other needs as they work through recovery.

“So, truthfully, it’s a bargain,” Shifflett said.

Northwestern Community Services used the building from 1989 through 2019 as temporary housing for its clients undergoing treatment for mental health illnesses and those in substance abuse recovery programs. The agency relocated the housing operation to Shenandoah County and sold the property to Vaught Real Estate LLC in 2019.

The coalition would run what the state designates as a level three recovery house, Shifflett said, with requirements that residents be employed and enrolled in a recovery program and that they have a savings account.

“We want to try to make sure they have their feet and that they’ve got money saved and that they can move into a stable place and they have a good job and all of those things so they can just get on with their life,” Shifflett said.

Residents also would need to abide by curfews and submit to regular drug testing, Shifflett said.

“It will be exceptionally, tightly monitored ...” Shifflett said.

Residents who violate policies cannot stay in the house, Shifflett said.

The coalition has been working on the project with Fletcher Group, another nonprofit that specializes in providing technical assistance in creating recovery housing.

The coalition works to connect people to recovery groups, make sure they go to their meetings, participate with their assigned case workers and work through a curriculum. The coalition intends for the transitional housing to provide the structure to help it meet its goals, Shifflett said.

The state categorizes recovery housing in four categories by level of structure. Oxford Houses fall under level one while the coalition’s facility would operate at level three. Shifflett compared the coalition facility to the Lord Fairfax House in Winchester. Shifflett said she did not know of any level four houses operating in the region. Level four housing allows for medication management, which the coalition does not plan to include in its facility or have a nurse on staff, Shifflett said.

The coalition plans to apply for a license from the Virginia Association of Recovery Residences to run the transitional housing facility, Shifflett said. Once licensed, the coalition’s housing facility must follow standards set by the National Association of Recovery Residences, she said.

– Contact Alex Bridges at abridges@nvdaily.com

(2) comments

Darrin Gifft

Sounds more like a money grab than actually trying to help people, $250 a week to rent a room $225 to share a room, what a joke.

Christine Mahoney

Well, actually if you think about it, that is with utilities and everything included plus most importantly. The recovery assistance you receive. I don't know anywhere else in front royal you are going to find a 1 bedroom with utilities included for that price and the whole point of this house is for people who want a better quality of life if you want it like I have wanted it. It sounds cheap to me! Thank you to Mrs.Christa and everyone at warren coalition for everything y'all do to help the addicts in our community!

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