New sobering center opens in Morgantown

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A new facility for treating people under the influence of alcohol and drugs opened Thursday in Morgantown.

The Hope Hill Sobering Center at Hazel’s House of Hope includes peer recovery support specialists, 15 beds and options for enrolling in community and stabilization programs. The center provides people with an alternative to jail or an emergency room.

The facility is supported by the city of Morgantown as well as Monongalia County, West Virginia University, West Virginia University Medicine and Mon Health.

Morgantown Assistant City Manager Emily Muzzarelli worked with community partners and the HHSC Board of Directors and Ascension Recovery Services to open the facility.

“There’s so much that goes into starting an organization, getting all the policies in place and getting it up and running,” she told MetroNews affiliate WAJR-AM. “Their experience has been phenomenal.”

Organizers had to address staffing and infrastructure issues ahead of opening the space; a storm in May ripped a portion of the building’s roof. The project took a year of planning and organization.

“Thanks to the entire board, but especially President Deana Morrow, who has been instrumental in keeping us moving forward and keeping our eyes on the prize and where we’re headed to,” Muzzarelli said.

Monongalia County authorities can utilize the center to provide care for people in need of services. Law enforcement will also have access to other resources when the facility is closed.

“It frees up time, basically,” Morgantown Police Chief Eric Powell said. “Time is pretty important when you’re answering calls and providing services to the public.”

The center will be open Thursday evening through Sunday morning from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.





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