Limen Recovery + Wellness hopes its recent purchase of the Aloysius Butler Clarke building on Washington Street in Wilmington will allow the recovery program to help an additional 600 Delawareans each year get and stay sober.
Buying the ABC building also will allow Limen to offer in-house rehabilitation for the first time but not detox.
Until now, most Limen clients had to go through their first rehab program elsewhere before coming to live in one of the homes.
“For the state of Delaware, we’re making people employable,” said Mike Webster, director of advancement at Limen. “We are connecting people back to their families and their friends and making them hard-working members of society again.”
Limen, which was created in 1969, is the oldest sober living house in Delaware, and one of the oldest in the country, Webster said.
Since it opened, it has helped more than 5,000 people get help with their alcohol or drug addictions.
Recovery homes help those dealing with addiction recover from addiction while building healthy habits and relationships, as well as helping them find jobs and feel fulfilled as competent and successful adults.
“We’re not just a Band-Aid, and we’re not just a 30-day program,” Webster said. “We’re here to help people by giving them time and space to rebuild their lives.”
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Per capita, Delaware is ranked third in the nation for overdose deaths behind West Virginia and Kentucky, according to the CDC.
The new building, which Limen paid $1.7 million for, will be the group’s fifth location and ultimately replace the current headquarter, which is upstairs in one of the recovery homes, as the organization’s new headquarters.
Limen is an independent nonprofit recovery program focused only on Delaware.
One benefit to being independent, he said, is that Limen can keep the workload for case managers lower than workloads at many national chains.
Each Limen case manager typically deals with six to 12 residents, while some at other sober living homes manage up to 20 residents, he said.
“I think what makes Limen different in what we’re advancing in this new building is treatment availability regardless of your ability to pay,” Webster said.
Residents do not have to pay any form of rent or other dues to get the help they need.
Unlike some national chains, Limen doesn’t have any set length-of-stay for its clientele.
“We have variable lengths to stay, and it’s not like a 28-day or six months and you’re gone,” Webster said. “We want to move you towards independent living, but we don’t have the same thresholds of stay requirements.”
People stay at a Limen House for an average of six to 18 months, he said.
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With the addition of the new building, the organization hopes to grow to an annual budget of about $5 million, according to Webster. That budget is projected to be $3.5 million for 2024.
Public funding from the state or federal government accounts for 40% of that, with the remaining 60% coming from private foundations like the Longwood Foundation, the Welfare Foundation and the Laffey-McHugh Foundation.
A $1 million gift from Linda and Paul McConnell in December 2021 and $1.2 million from American Rescue Plan Act grant in August 2022 helped Limen buy the building and will help pay for the $1.3 million to $2 million cost of renovating it to add rehab services.
“We’re converting the second and third floor offices back to residential rooms,” he said. “In distant history, the second and third floors were actually dormitory rooms for Goldey-Beacom.”
The building will offer both inpatient and outpatient rehab services.
Limen hopes to start offering outpatient services at the ABC building between May 1 and June 1.
The first inpatients will be admitted Oct. 1, if plans go as expected.
“Limen has done amazing work in the state for 50 years,” Webster said, “and it needs to continue but we need to reach more people, especially in the wake of the opioid epidemic.”
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
Jarek can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz
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