New residential treatment center opens in Kings County

KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A celebration was held in Kings County on Friday as a new residential treatment center opened its doors.

The 49-bed facility is one of the dreams of Champions Recovery Alternative Programs executive director Sue Weisenhaus.

"It means getting them back to the community. It allows them to be self-sufficient tax-paying honoring citizens," said Weisenhaus.

The program goes beyond just helping with substance abuse treatment and focuses on all aspects of a man's life.

For Deputy Probation Officer Gabe Gomez, watching the impact it can have is priceless.

"Just saving one person's life and watching them get everything back that they lost, that in itself is like better than my paycheck," said Gomez.

He says that impact triggers a ripple effect as the men that live there starting putting back their own lives and rebuilding relationships.

"What we're doing is throwing a pebble into a pond; that's something positive. And as the waves get bigger and bigger, it's affecting more and more people," said Gomez.

The men that will be living there are convicted criminals, all working to become contributing members of society.

Sheriff Dave Robinson expects the impact to the community will be immediate. For years, they've had to release inmates early from the jail because of overcrowding.

"Now we're going to be able to direct a lot of those inmates to a facility like this," said Robinson.

Now they'll be filling up the beds there with everyone working together to change lives.

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