LOS ANGELES — A festive ceremony Tuesday marked the grand opening of a residential substance abuse treatment center for male parolees in what previously was a downtown residential hotel overrun with heroin addicts.
The ceremony was held in a tent next to the renovated 1920s building at 1355 S. Hill St. It accommodates 75 individuals and has the capacity for 90. The building's conversion into the Walden House of Southern California treatment center is meant to help lessen the rate of recidivism of parolees who use drugs, said Chris Canter, Walden's director of community development.
Funding for the program, $55 a day per client, comes from the state Department of Corrections.
Residents and graduates praised the treatment program, which also provides vocational training. Walden has been operating in the building for six months while renovations were being completed.
While treatment programs exist in prisons, parolees have a 50% to 60% rate of recidivism when they do not continue to receive treatment, said Brian Greenberg, vice president of special projects at Walden House Inc.