Addiction Task Force Seeking Building for Services Hub

The mayor’s ad hoc Addiction and Homelessness Task Force provides the following update:

As reported at our recent public forum, one of the task force’s top goals is to create for Elkins a social services hub, similar to the Hazel House of Hope in Morgantown.

Hazel House, located in a former Ramada Inn, was founded with a vision of bringing together many different service providers in one location, to better assist clients struggling with addiction and homelessness. The Morgantown center is already providing feeding, warming, and shelter services, with a long-term goal of also providing a “sobering center” and assistance with obtaining vital records, applying for benefits, and addressing other obstacles to stable employment and housing.

Here in Elkins, the task force is in the exploratory stage of identifying possible locations for such a facility. Our vision is similar to the vision behind Hazel House, although it is too early in the process to say with certainty exactly what services we will be able to offer. The location, size, amenities, and physical structure of the building we ultimately select will play a large role in determining what will be possible. We are hopeful that we will be able to secure a building that will enable us to provide the most vitally needed services not only for Elkins but for neighboring communities as well.

We are currently evaluating four promising sites. We are also working with our community partners to determine what grants, loans, or other financial options would be available to purchase and renovate any one of these locations.  We expect to start submitting funding requests in the first quarter of 2022.

We are committed to keeping the community informed about our progress.  We sincerely appreciate the community showing up and voicing their comments at our public meeting on December 14th.

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