MALDEN, WV (WOWK) – A new recovery center will be opening in the unincorporated community of Malden, and it is receiving mixed reactions from residents.

Chelsea Carter, the clinical director, said it will be a licensed health behavioral facility called the Lotus Recovery Center. They will provide outpatient healthcare to those suffering from substance abuse and mental illnesses.

There was a public meeting discussing residents’ concerns about the facility on Thursday. Several people told 13 News that their main concern is how close the facility will be to Malden Elementary School.

“Everybody deserves a second chance,” said Curtis Brooks, a parent in Malden. “I know people, even my baby’s mama, has been out there into drugs and stuff, but you hate to see it in a neighborhood close to a school that’s the main thing about it.” 

Even though people told 13 News recovery services are needed throughout the state, they said they’re worried it would bring more harm than good to their own community.

“I know people that have been through it and they’re doing great,” Curtis said. “They need to be monitored more is basically what I think because you’re just letting them go, letting them go in neighborhoods. They see something, they want something, knowing that they can’t have nothing, and boom they’re right back to it.”

Carter, who is a recovering addict herself said the Lotus Recovery Center team understands people’s concerns, but they hope the community will give the facility a chance.

“We are people who are not trying to come into the community and disrupt their lives or make them worse,” Carter said. “We are people who want to help show them that recovery is possible and it’s okay if it’s in your neighborhood.”

The facility was previously located in Mount Nebo, West Virginia, but they wanted to relocate to provide better transportation for their patients. Officials said they currently have 34 patients that they are providing telehealth care. However, they are planning to open their doors later this year to provide in-person assistance as well.

Despite concerns from the community, the facility has been approved by the state, according to Carter. They are working to finish the construction of the building, and then it will be open later this year.

“We want it to feel almost like home. In the sense of giving that compassion and being able to directly talk to them,” she said. “Whenever you walk in our doors it will be a welcoming atmosphere.”