A Charlotte agency is offering hope and help to recovering addicts in Cabarrus County.
Hope Haven in north Charlotte just took over Serenity House, a home for men battling drug and alcohol addiction in Concord.
Brian Long is a former resident. He entered Serenity House 15 years ago and has been sober ever since.
Serenity House has been around for decades, but it lost its state license about three years ago and the funding went with it.
"We were contacted by a foundation here in Concord and asked if we might be interested in helping them in some way," said Hope Haven CEO Alice Harrison.
Hope Haven agreed to step in and take over Serenity House. In order to get its license restored, Hope Haven will spend $96,000 bringing the house up to code. The process will include electrical work, plumbing and making the home handicapped-accessible.
Thirteen men will eventually stay at the home. It may not seem like a lot of people, but Hope Haven says for every dollar spent on substance abuse treatment, taxpayers save nearly $12 in emergency room visits, incarceration and crime costs for those still living with addiction.
"So many individuals have the opportunity to stay up to two years here, which gives them enough time to get established and a foundation underneath them so they can truly be taxpaying and productive citizens and independent," said Melissa Thompson, Hope Haven's vice president of development and community engagement.
Long will be one of three employees working with men at the home.
"I just try to give to them what was gave to me," he said.
It will be Hope Haven's first property in Cabarrus County -- which is extra-special for Harrison, who is a native.
"To be able to come back to my home and do something great for my community really means a lot to me," she said.
Hope Haven needs about $15,000 to help pay for the construction. It hopes to get re-licensed and re-open Serenity House in July.