Mar 31, 2016 6:12 PM
MANCHESTER - Friday marks the grand opening of a new light of hope for those suffering from heroin and opioid addiction.
Amber’s Place - founded by the popular Manchester entrepreneur Kriss Blevens of Kriss Cosmetics - gives addicts a safe haven and could be the first step to help many on the path of recovery. But the woman who says she's trying combat the heroin crisis for a suffering community is also in need of help.
A little bit of background on Blevens: You’ve might have seen her on the campaign trail or maybe you’ve seen her for a wax. But you might best know Kriss Blevens as a woman who was rocked by the heroin and opioid epidemic herself after losing a stepdaughter, Amber, to drugs.
“I am no stranger to the absolute horrific appearance of heroin addiction,” said Blevens the day before Amber’s Place hosts it’s grand opening.
With a big heart - and not such a full bank account - a partnership was formed between Blevens and Hope for New Hampshire Recovery. Amber’s Place was born and is the first 24/7 outlet for those suffering with addiction.
“They find themselves in the emergency room, and the emergency room not really knowing what to do,” said Donna Hayden, a supervisor at the facility.
Blevins said the center target those people.
“What we’re seeing here is that people coming in are the sickest of the sick," she said. "Call it on the verge of an arrest, on the verge of an overdose or you could call it on the verge of death."
Since the soft opening about three weeks ago, Amber’s Place it has seen 23 guests who have spent their 1- to 14-day stay at the center. Through the staff’s vast network, 21 guests have found open beds at treatment facilities both in and out of state.
“The thing is, people have huge hearts and they want recovery for other people,” said Hayden.
Two Manchester hospitals - Elliot and Catholic Medical Center - and three Hillsborough County chiefs of police (Manchester, Goffstown, and Bedford) have committed to Amber’s Place as a diversion program.
When they arrest someone or see someone experiencing an overdose they offer Amber’s Place as an alternative to curb their addiction rather than spending the night in Valley Street Jail.
But now Blevens is in need.
“We receive no state or federal funding,” said Blevens.
Amber’s Place is able to stay afloat all from donations. Everything including food, cots, and money through cash, checks or and a GoFundMe page.
However, Blevens said, as grand opening approaches - it’s not enough.
“We’re so limited on funds that it might be in 6 to 8 weeks that we're having our announcement that we can’t stay open because we are not financially supported," she said. "And you know, I’m willing to take that risk because human life is worth it."
Amber’s Place hosts its grand opening Friday morning.
If you would like to learn more about on how to donate to Amber’s Place click here.
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