Naked City

Can Austin Recovery Recover?

Austin Recovery, an alcohol and drug treatment center, is racing against the clock to try to secure enough funding by Sept. 1 to keep some of its most vital programs afloat through the next budget year. The center's Family House, whose state-allocated dollars went from $637,378 in 2004 to $0 in 2005, may have no choice but to evict the 64 women and 120 children currently residing at the home. The Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse delivered the devastating budget cuts based on a competitive application process that nonprofits go through each year.

Recent publicity on the plight of Family House generated hundreds of phone calls to TCADA, which reportedly reconsidered the matter and offered to kick in $300,000. That was last week, but alumni/volunteer coordinator Stephanie Sheppard said the center is still negotiating with TCADA on that front.

The budget cuts, Sheppard says, are in keeping with TCADA's move toward putting more money into outpatient treatment sites, despite substantial evidence pointing to higher success rates at residential treatment facilities. Some of the center's other residential services, such as the detox and women's programs, sustained serious budget hits as well. Detox's funding was reduced to zilch, and women's residential received just $22,419 in state funding – almost $294,000 less than what was allocated a year ago. For more information on Austin Recovery, call 997-0101 or go to www.austinrecovery.org.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin Recovery, Family House, Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, TCADA, Stephanie Sheppard

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