A Hamilton organization that has successfully weaned people from drug addictions using outpatient and inpatient facilities was granted a step toward permission to be able to move its outpatient work to a new location, at 1910 Fairgrove Ave.
The inpatient work, which is performed by the organization’s faith-based branch called the Genesis Center of Excellence, will remain at the former Roosevelt Jr. High School, 621 S. Erie Blvd.
Some who live near the Fairgrove Avenue location expressed concerns, but the Hamilton Planning Commission voted 4-0 to approve the move despite the fact Modern Psychiatry & Wellness’ new location will be within 500 feet of two businesses that sell alcohol.
Hamilton City Council will have the ultimate say in the matter, and may consider it at a meeting later this month.
Two people who live near the new location said they both fully support the work Modern Psychiatry and Wellness, which had numerous people testify in support of the organization and its work — including from employees, clients and organizations that refer people to it.
City planning staff also told the planning commission there have been no police calls to Modern Psychiatry’s current location on South Erie Boulevard. The outpatient part of the organization has to move because the building was purchased by Heirs Covenant Church, which is allowing the inpatient operation — where men live 24 hours per day — to remain on the second floor there.
Dr. Quinton Moss, who specializes in family medicine and psychiatry and who owns Modern Psychiatry, noted that while there are two alcohol-selling establishments nearby, “It’s a challenge everywhere we go in Hamilton,” considering even convenient stores sell beer and wine.
Anthony Saylor, a current Genesis client, told the planning commission, “They’re saving lives, honestly…. They’re completely changing people.”
In his 70 days there, there hasn’t been a fight or an overdoes, and “They saved my life,” he said. “It got me in touch with God. I needed that.”
MORE: Three things to know about heroin and opioids
One former client who now works for the company as a mentor said he’s been clean of drugs more than two years and now owns a home.
“It’s an issue everywhere,” he said of opioid- and other drug abuse. “Doesn’t matter the neighborhood.”
One current Genesis client, from Lebanon, said he tried to kill himself a week before entering Genesis.
In his time there, “There’s been no fights,” he said. “It’s a brotherhood. We look out for each other.”
The Genesis Center in 2016 won $400,000 in state capital funds to make improvements to the Roosevelt building, but that money never was spent because the organization didn’t own it.