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November 27, 2014
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Statements from Narrowsburg School bidders


This is a June 23 statement from Changes Treatment Center regarding their purchase of the Narrowsburg School.

First, Changes would like to thank the Sullivan West Central School Board for all of their
hard work and time spent, it was no easy task knowing how people felt to make this decision.

Secondly, we would like to clear up some of the confusion and misconception that we have been reading about:

Yes, we are a for profit facility and will be paying taxes. We will be providing employment for professionals, para-professionals and staff at wages reflective of their education, training and skills in the long run and for construction and related building trades in the short run. Our facility is monitored 24 hours a day,7 days a week, so please do not compare us to the Kelly’s home. Our facility is much different than the Kelly's home facility and their clients who suffer from mental illness and who are wards of the state quite possibly because their drug or alcohol addictions were never treated. We take recovery very seriously and are committed to helping those that want to recover and lead a productive and sober life. We read a comment, “no rehab in my backyard” so if we all do nothing about it, we won’t have a rehab in our backyards, we will have addicts. Our facility is built around clients who need help and voluntarily enter our facility in search of the ability to free themselves from the clutches of addiction.

Currently, Changes has 30 beds and offers programs for partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient programming all at our Fort Lauderdale facility. We are a family owned and operated facility that chooses to remain small and intimate which allows us to have the ability to provide individualized care and personal attention to each of our clients. We strongly believe that this approach sets us apart from other facilities and is one of the many reasons we have achieved such a high success rate of client recovery, maintained abstinence and client and family satisfaction. All members of our family are involved one way or another in Changes, we wouldn’t put our family in danger and won’t certainly put yours in danger.

At Changes, we pride ourselves in promising that any client who enters our treatment program with insurance and has been accepted for a 30 day period, will not be dropped or sent home should their insurance fail to pay or be discontinued while in treatment. We firmly believe that clients benefit from a smooth transition from one level of care to the next as they gain the necessary skills for a successful recovery. They become able to cope with issues and function more independently as sober adults. Research has long shown that the longer a client stays in treatment and stays involved within a recovering community, the better the client’s chances are for long term sustained recovery. We also offer a limited number of scholarships for those who have no insurance or can’t afford to pay. We need people who are insured to cover those that are not. Unfortunately, the staff does not work for free and no one but us pay the bills at the facility.

Changes Treatment and Recovery runs it’s facility with the belief that chemical dependency is a progressive disease affecting a person’s mind, body and spirit. Our goal is to work within our facility and in partnership with the community, to achieve healthy living and recovery from substance abuse for all who seek help. We believe in a total wellness concept that encompasses not only a person’s chemical dependency but also their mental, social, educational, physical and spiritual needs as well.

We understand that chemical dependence can often times be a family illness, so by placing emphasis on establishing a family system of support that is conducive to a client’s health, abstinence can be achieved. We believe that each client and family possess a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses; therefore, the most affective recovery approach is one where we individualize and uniquely develop a customized plan of recovery for each client. Each client’s recovery depends on intensive daily meetings, group therapies, lectures, and community support services available. The utilization of all of these programs result in the client gaining the strength and knowledge to work toward the goal of abstinence and lead a more productive life. And from what I understand by speaking to members of the community in Narrowsburg who have addiction in their family, this is not offered to them in the programs they are in.

At Changes we encourage our clients to accept responsibility for their recovery, and teach them how to regain their self-confidence, self-esteem and most importantly love and respect themselves once again. Successful treatments of drug addictions/alcoholism are rooted in the immersion of a group/community-based program as well as solid programs administered by a skilled, experienced, and empathetic staff.

In addition to the programs we currently have in Florida, we are implementing a GED prep program so those who want to continue their education can do so; we also work with our clients in regard to job placement, these offerings (and the cost for them) ARE NOT covered by insurance.

In regard to the Affordable Care Act: As of 2014, it has required plans to cover mental health, substance use disorder services and will be required to cover them at parity with medical and surgical benefits. See article http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/mental/rb_mental.pdf

We believe, our programs will provide a facility that offers a seamless continuum of care from the detox level of treatment to the outpatient setting. The owners and staff are committed to working with local non-profit/private drug and alcohol entities, community programs, schools and hospitals to form efficient collaborative efforts. We will be serving the families in our communities that recognize the need for help for their loved ones. Our goal is to enrich the lives of our clients and contribute to awareness of mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment.

Please join us in trying to fight this battle. Once you save a life, you never want to stop. It’s a wonderful feeling when you give a family back its child, its father, its mother, who might have died without the proper support. You can’t get a better reward than this.

Thank you.

Joan and Robert Buto


Statement of June 23 from Brendan and Kathy Weiden

It is now widely known that we were outbid in the competition for the Narrowsburg School Building. Our bid was $742,000 vs our competitors’ bid of $751,000; a difference of a mere 1.2%. Although the Sullivan West School District Administration and Board consistently referred, throughout the bidding process, to their “fiduciary duty” as appointed and elected decision makers, it saddens us to learn that they apparently believe such a duty allows them to be deaf to the interests of the residents of Narrowsburg, and the Town of Tusten, for the price of $9,000.
If ever there were two polar opposite views of the future of an important building, this is such a case.

As the largest building in the center of a small hamlet, the future of the Narrowsburg School building will drive the future of the Hamlet of Narrowsburg and the Town of Tusten. In a broader way, the School Board’s decision will affect all of the river communities on both sides of the Delaware.

We hope that all parties will come to the realization that there is an appropriate place within a town for different building functions. We hope that if the Butos are intent on bringing a drug and alcohol treatment facility to the Delaware Valley, that they operate it as the high-end residential-only facility they initially described in the media, and that they find a location where their business can flourish for their personal benefit, and yet be a positive economic force for the benefit of their neighbors in Tusten and Narrowsburg.

We continue to look forward to the day when the Hamlet of Narrowsburg can take pride in the use of an important building that both respects the building’s past, and provides opportunities for full time and part time residents to come together in pursuit of education, recreation and business, and for community gatherings.