Champaign County Nursing Home considering housing recovering addicts

The Champaign county board is considering signing a lease with Rosecrance Central Illinois. (WCCU)

The Champaign County Nursing Home may soon house recovering addicts alongside senior citizens, now that the county board is considering signing a lease with Rosecrance Central Illinois.

The county board was supposed to vote on the lease Tuesday night, but the chairman said after running into some problems and having unfinished business with the Illinois Department of Human Services, that vote was postponed.

“The importance is when people are ready to get sober and ready to change that we need to have a place for them to go,” executive director of Rosecrance central Illinois Chris Gleason said.

The county nursing home has an empty wing that Rosecrance is hoping to lease for six months.

“It’ll be a lit bit of extra money for us, but the main thing is we are helping out a partner in the community who has an important social program,” county board chair C.Pius Weibel said.

Under the agreement, the county would receive nearly $17,000 a month. The county board members said the lease would not be permanent since Rosecrance is currently looking for a permanent facility for its services.

“It’ll operate separate from the nursing home and there will actually be a physical barrier there so neither operation will comingle with one another,” county board member and chair of county nursing home board Jack Anderson said.

If the lease agreement is approved, the nursing home's wing would house no more than 30 Rosecrance residents in need of addiction treatment 24 hours a day.

“A couple doors will be keyed both directions,” Weibel said. “At night there will be a security guard there it or staff of the Rosecrance.”

Rosecrance held a meeting last week with family members of residents in the nursing home to discuss the lease agreement and the board members said the response was positive.

“The physical barrier is actually alarmed as well so if anyone were to breach that barrier all kinds of alarms go off and personale from both sides appear,” Anderson said. “Nobody can wander accidentally into the other section without being noticed obviously.”

The board will vote on the lease March 27, and if approved Rosecrance will start moving in residents into the nursing home's facility in April.

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