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Salvation Army Is Closing Its Oregon Men's Addiction Rehab Center

<p>The Salvation Army serves about 80,000 people in the Portland metro area.</p>

Keith Srakocic

The Salvation Army serves about 80,000 people in the Portland metro area.

The Salvation Army is closing its only Oregon drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for men.  

The Adult Rehabilitation Center in Northeast Portland offers men a free six-month drug and alcohol rehab program, including housing and work connection services.  

After more than 100 years, it will be closing its doors in late September, affecting 72 employees.  

The program has become less sustainable due to competition from similar programs now being covered by the Affordable Care Act, said Major Nancy Dihle, divisional commander for the Salvation Army’s Cascade division.  

“What that [the Affordable Care Act] does is give people access to programs at a much lower cost and a lower amount of time in-house, and so that’s affected our ability to sustain the program,” Dihle said.  

The ARC facility has capacity for about 120 men. Dihle said it’s currently serving 56.  

Money for the program came mostly from Salvation Army’s thrift stores, she said. 

“We use the men that are in the program to serve in some of the warehouses,” Dihle said. “This program offered job training as a part of the work therapy program, so it helped us keep costs down, but it was primarily funded by the proceeds of the thrift stores.” 

The Salvation Army stopped accepting men into the ARC July 15, according to Dihle. Those who have not graduated from the program will have the option to transfer to one of the other 17 Salvation Army ARCs in the western United States.  

The employees affected by the closure will be connected to other jobs in Salvation Army programs. Those who don’t find jobs in the organization will be given severance pay and “outplacement services” to help them search for other jobs.  

Dihle said the closure of the facility is part of a reorganization of the Salvation Army’s programs. She said the nonprofit hopes to eventually open another northwest addiction treatment center. 

“We have plans to offer a northwest regional drug and alcohol treatment program, but that’s in the future,” Dihle said.  

“The Salvation Army serves about 80,000 people in the Portland metro area,” she said. “We anticipate continuing to do that. We’re not stopping programming; we’re just reorganizing and repurposing our buildings.” 

The Salvation Army will continue to own the ARC building on Portland's Northeast 82nd Avenue and intends to use it for other, future programs.

Copyright 2019 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Meerah Powell is a general assignment and breaking news reporter for OPB. She previously worked as a news reporter and podcast producer for Eugene Weekly in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon. Along with writing and audio work, Meerah also has experience with photography and videography. She graduated from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication.