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Substance Abuse Treatment Centers Step Into Fill Arapahoe House Void

By Jeff Todd

THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) - The largest provider of substance abuse services in the Denver metro area is now closed, but many other organizations are rushing in to help fill the void the Arapahoe House is leaving.

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The Arapahoe House (credit: CBS)

"I was more concerned with, 'Ok what's going to happen to the people they serve?'" said Rick Doucet, the CEO of Community Reach Center. "We're hoping to help by taking over, immediately, their outpatient services in Adams County."

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CBS4's Jeff Todd interviews Rick Doucet. (credit: CBS)

Doucet says he's hoping CRC can buy the outpatient building Arapahoe House has closed. However, with only a few weeks' notice and the holiday period, the financial transaction hasn't been completed yet.

"I hope to continue providing residential substance abuse from that building," said Doucet. "We didn't go into it wanting to get into that business, but we will accept a challenge."

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(credit: CBS)

CRC is among many organizations stepping in to help the community.

"We offer a variety of services at about 23 locations in the community. That includes mental health and substance abuse services for individuals and families," said Kiara Keunzler, the COO of Jefferson Center for Mental Health.

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(credit: CBS)

"It was really devastating to hear that Arapahoe House was closing their doors. We wanted to step up right away and think about how we could fill that gap," said Keunzler.

Officials at the Jefferson Center said they met quickly and determined they'd be available to take clients in Jefferson County who need to continue treatment.

"Our staff is ready, our doors are open and we want people to know we're here to support them when they're ready to come in. We know we have capacity so if people call they can get into services right away with our current staff. We are very willing to step up and fill that gap," Keunzler said.

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(credit: CBS)

One person has already been hired by Jefferson Center from Arapahoe House. Something many organizations say they're interested in doing.

"I hope to hire everyone I can, because we have a very low unemployment rate in this country right now and finding good quality people is extremely difficult," Doucet said.

RELATED: Arapahoe House Closure Puts More Pressure On Police, Human Services

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he's been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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