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Work to begin soon on low-income recovery housing


Demolition of three homes on three acres along Marvel Way just east of Meadowood Mall will begin in mid-April to make way for a residential facility for women recovering from substance abuse. The Empowerment Center, a Reno-based nonprofit, plans to replace the homes with 42 units of sober living accommodations.

The need for such accommodations has grown over the past year, according to health care professionals. In February, This Is Reno reported that the number of people seeking treatment for alcohol and drug issues in the region rose dramatically during the pandemic, fueled in part by the shut down of support systems and new stressors. Reno Behavioral Healthcare Hospital reported a 30% increase in substance-abuse cases in 2020.

“The Marvel Way Project is representative of a great need in this area, especially after the pandemic shone such a bright light on how drugs can be used adversely when people feel trapped,” said Roxanne DeCarlo, executive director of The Empowerment Center. “Additionally, the high cost of housing keeps many women in particular from leaving toxic situations.”

DeCarlo said her organization’s focus is on empowering at-risk individuals to lead independent, productive and sober lives.

That’s one of the reasons the Marvel Way location was selected. The three-acre site is close to public transit, shopping, secondary education—just a block north of Truckee Meadows Community College’s Meadowood Campus—and resources including workforce development programs.

A rendering of the Marvel Way Project, a 3-story, 42-unit residential facility  being built by The Empowerment Center.
A rendering of the Marvel Way Project. Image: The Empowerment Center

In addition to providing housing, the new facility will offer support services provided by The Empowerment Center and other treatment and health care providers.

The three-story building will have a mix of one- and two-bedroom units. A variety of outdoor amenities are also being considered, such as a playground, dog park or community garden. A solar energy component, similar to The Empowerment Center’s flagship residential location on South Virginia Street, is also planned.

In a statement announcing the project, for which the first phase is expected to open in early 2022, the nonprofit said it had raised sufficient capital to begin construction. Officials said they’re hoping to raise about $300,000 more to complete utility connections and carports and provide furnishings for the residents.

Source: The Empowerment Center

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Empowering women with long term sober living

In November of this year, the Empowerment Center opened up its Marvel Way Complex close to Meadowood Mall.