Tough fiscal times are affecting a Martinez rehabilitation facility, and officials are exploring their options to keep the doors open.
New Creation Christian Transitional Housing, which opened in September 2005, is a Christian home for drug and alcohol abuse rehabilitation and prevention.
"We're just trying to live within our means, our budget," said Tonya Hall, the facility's executive director. "We're having to downsize with the economy and everything. I'm not really sure what is going to happen."
The 2,100-square-foot converted home at 208 Flowing Wells Road houses five residents who are required to hold full-time jobs, participate in a 12-step recovery program, and attend a Bible study and church.
The facility operates on a weekly fee each resident must pay, which is also meant to teach them accountability. It also operates with capital from donations, pledges and charitable contributions.
Currently, the facility is rented from Realtor Tommy McBride on a month-to-month contract.
Hall said she and other facility officials are exploring options to keep the facility open, including relocating to another Columbia County property and upgrading the existing facility to house more residents.
"We're going to be in Columbia County," Hall said. "We're in the middle of ... negotiations to maybe stay or seek other funding sources to make it possible to stay."
Another funding source, Hall said, would be adding residents. The home, classified as a family group home, is allowed to house up to six residents. If funding can be found to upgrade the fire sprinkler system, the facility could be classified as a group home, which can house up to 15 people.
"We could potentially house eight or so" with the current available space, Hall said.
When it opened, the home generated complaints from neighbors and parents of pupils at Martinez Elementary School, located across the street. The controversy soon faded. "It got quiet," Hall said. "Actually, some of the neighbors began to support us."
Since it opened more than four years ago, police have been called to the facility nine times, according to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office records. The complaints included two thefts, two terroristic threats, legal questions, a damaged vehicle and a suspicious situation.
Nine calls is not abnormal considering the facility is not a private, single-family residence, sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.
By comparison, police have been called to Martinez Elementary 234 times since September 2005.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.