"Hope" may be coming to the valley

Operating under the name “Hope in the Valley”, Paul and Kim Reed are working to buy the building formerly known as “Rite of Passage”, located behind the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office on 17th Street.

“Hope In The Valley” residential treatment center to submit offer to county

ALAMOSA– On August 14, 2007, 33-year-old Paul Reed, a native of Sanford, was admitted to a residential treatment center for addiction to methamphetamines. The cost for treatment totaled out at roughly $30,000, raised with the help of his family and friends.

Reed’s story is not an uncommon one. He grew up in a farming and ranching family in Sanford and was helping out a friend who owned a roofing company in Alamosa. The friend had “gotten into trouble” with drugs and alcohol and, unable to pay workers, asked Reed to help out. That association led to Reed being introduced to drugs, specifically highly-addictive methamphetamines.

In Reed’s case, the intervention was successful. Following treatment, the trajectory of his life changed, and he now owns a highly successful nationwide roofing company based in Denver. But the awareness of the damaging impact addiction has on people’s lives never left him. In homage to those who helped him and others who are working to overcome addiction, Paul and his wife, Kim, started a group called “Roofers in Recovery” in 2019.

“You can’t keep anything until you give back,” he says.

The Reeds - along with partners Justin Luke Riley and Jamie Reynolds, Paul’s sister who is an RN living in the valley - are now taking their efforts to the next level in the San Luis Valley where they plan to open a non-profit residential treatment center for drug addiction in Alamosa.

Operating under the name “Hope in the Valley”, Paul and Kim Reed are working to buy the building formerly known as “Rite of Passage”, located behind the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office on 17th Street.

The building is owned by Alamosa County and, according to County Administrator Roni Wisdom, the Reeds “have toured the building and have expressed a strong interest in it for a residential treatment facility.  They are in the due diligence stage of their business planning process, so they have not made an offer nor has the county entered into any negotiations for the purchase of the building.” 

In a July 25 presentation made to the SLV Commissioners, partner and co-founder of Hope In the Valley Justin Luke Riley stated that they are looking to create a “community supported, best practice based” program with a life skills curriculum embedded into recovery.

“We already have a good network of people specializing in supporting recovery,” Reed says, “with programs in place that can change lives and keep families together.”

“Hope in the Valley” is planned to be a 30-bed facility – 15 for men, 15 for women – staffed with counsellors, nurses and support staff to ensure quality medical care. They will be focused on a specific patient population – veterans and young adults – and plan to provide services to address the full range of addictions.

The non-profit will create thirty full-time positions – all staffed by local professionals including a Medical Director, a licensed psychiatrist and licensed counselors.

“We want to use local people as much as possible,” says Reed, “including the people we’ll hire to do renovations.”

The residential treatment facility is just part of what the four partners envision.

“The facility is just the first stage of the process. We really want this to be a community program where the community is involved in creating a network where people can find support as they’re in recovery. Hopefully, that will be one way to remove the stigma that is always a part of addiction.”

Addiction to opioids has been an enduring challenge in the San Luis Valley. A 2019 story published by Colorado Public Radio (CPR) and based upon information obtained from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) states, “drug companies distributed the highest number of pills per person in southern parts of the state where the epidemic has hit hardest.”

According to updated data from the DEA website mentioned in the CPR article, from 2006 to 2014 there were 12,366,040 prescription pain pills - enough for 88 pills per person - supplied to Alamosa County each year.  That is the highest per person rate in the state.

Since then, the Attorney’s General Office, in conjunction with other AGs from other impacted states, has successfully litigated several significant lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, resulting in millions of dollars in settlement funds being awarded.

Those funds will be distributed via the Colorado Opioid Abatement Council for programs addressing opioid addiction.

According to Alamosa Commissioner Lori Laske, who sits on the 45-member Region 18 Opioid Settlement Agreement Council, grant proposals are currently being developed to mitigate the impact of addiction.

But the cascading impacts of the disease of addiction continue to persist.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Death Statistics Dashboard, 142 people in the San Luis Valley died as a result of a drug overdose from 2010 to 2020 and there were 812 visits to the Emergency Department involving drug overdoses from 2016 to 2021. 

“Opioid and methamphetamine addiction is a huge problem for us,” says Alamosa County Sheriff Robert Jackson. “And now we have people coming into the jail who are addicted to fentanyl – not opioids or meth, just fentanyl. We desperately need this treatment center.”

“The County is excited about having a residential treatment center,” says Roni Wisdom. “The Commissioners have felt that this is something the valley has needed for a long time to help our citizens.”

When asked why they are focusing their efforts on the San Luis Valley when they operate out of Denver, Paul Reed says, “I grew up in the valley. I know there’s an addiction problem. I’ve made it for fifteen years because people helped me in recovery. Now, I get to be the person who does that for someone else.”

As an indication of just how serious the partners of Hope in the Valley are about making the residential treatment center a reality, Kim and Paul Reed told the Valley Courier on Monday that they will be submitting an offer to purchase the building to the Alamosa County Commissioners at Wednesday’s meeting.

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