Groundbreaking is Saturday for home for recovering addicts West Baltimore facility set to open next summer

October 29, 1998|By Ernest F. Imhoff | Ernest F. Imhoff,SUN STAFF

Supported by neighbors in West Baltimore, a transitional home for 28 recovering drug addicts will rise in their midst and be ready for occupancy next summer.

Carrington House, a $991,000 three-story residence at 3500 Clifton Ave., will offer a structured recovery program for up to two years for formerly homeless men who have jobs or are on their way to employment and self-sufficiency.

The groundbreaking for the house will be celebrated from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday "to let people learn more and have some fun, jazz and barbecue," said M. Gregory Cantori, executive director of Light Street Housing Corp.

The nonprofit group planned the project and has raised $1.2 million in public and private money.

The party will be held on the vacant lot where construction of the home will start next month at Clifton Avenue and Edgewood Street. That was the site of two run-down houses that were often infested by rats and sometimes occupied by drug users.

Backing Carrington House are the community associations of Woodhaven, Mount Holly and Windsor Hills; James Griffith of the Greater Walbrook Coalition; and African American Men on a Mission (AAMM), whose members are state correctional officers and others who mentor inner-city youths.

The multiuse building will be named for Alexander Carrington of AAMM, who died this year of a heart attack. The group plans to use the facility to mentor youths ages 6 to 18 in after-school programs, said Carlos Hardy, 43, director of the facility.

For the recovering addicts -- about 15 the first year -- Carrington House would offer hope and tools for self-support while participants would pay program fees to make the center self-sustaining.

Participants would be men in their mid-20s and older who are further along in their recovery than those at the South Baltimore Shelter, with which Light Street Housing also has worked.

Residents would receive counseling and programs to help them avoid relapse and stay employed. They would move into permanent housing within two years.

Pub Date: 10/29/98

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