Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: The House of Hope Sober Living Facility will have a groundbreaking ceremony for its location just east of the Pepsi plant.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – After more than two years in the works, the House of Hope Sober Living Facility is set to break ground Wednesday, March 4.
The groundbreaking will take place at 10 a.m. off 1st Street just east of the Pepsi plant.
The news was presented to the Thatcher Town Council at its Monday night meeting by Graham County Substance Abuse Coalition Director Kathy Grimes and members Jan Napier and John Howard.
The land was donated by Marge Schade, founder and CEO of Southeastern Bottling, which operates Safford’s Pepsi bottling plant on Eighth Avenue. Schade is expected to lead off the groundbreaking ceremony.
“The last time I talked to Marge she said ‘when are we going to put that shovel in the ground?’ So, now we’re going to have her do it for us,” Grimes said.
Major funding donors include the city of Safford, which donated $100,000 after unanimous approval from the Safford City Council, and Freeport McMoRan Community Investment Foundation, which also donated $100,000.
The House of Hope will be a 4,000-square-foot, 14-bed facility that will have a full-time facilitator on property. It will also feature a meeting room, laundry room, computer center, and outdoor facilities.
The house is a transition facility for those addicted to drugs or alcohol who are returning from a stay at a rehabilitation center. Clients who live at the home are expected to stay about six to nine months, follow strict house rules, and must have employment, according to Howard. He said the group is working with local employers to help clients find and secure employment.
“Studies have shown that the longer they stay in a rehab environment the greater their chances are of not relapsing,” Napier said. “So, we want to give them the opportunity to stay in that rehab environment.