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The Opioid Crisis Has Led to More Help for Addicts From the Cleveland YMCA

Y-Haven Executive Director Ed Gamerchak says the program in the programs transitional housing facility.

More help is coming for people caught up in Cuyahoga County’s growing opioid epidemic. The YMCA of Greater Cleveland has received funding to add beds to its transitional housing program for recovering addicts.

The executive director of the Y-Haven program, Ed Gemerchak, says the $200,000 from the Cleveland Foundation is a big boost to the 23-year-old program, which now serves 113 homeless men.

“The new program will provide recovery housing for 80 more people, 40 men and 40 women. And for the first time we’ll be serving women coming out of prison, who, again, need some extra time to kind of work on reshaping their lives.’

Germerchak says nationwide, women are the fastest growing demographic in overdose deaths. And he says a key to preventing relapse for all addicts is having enough time to fully recover.

The Y-Haven program on Cleveland’s near eastside gives people whatever time they need. That can be more than a year in some cases. The 80 new beds are expected to be ready by July.