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Historic substance recovery center in Minneapolis faces closure as funding fades

Minneapolis AA House could be forced to close as funding fades
Minneapolis AA House could be forced to close as funding fades 02:12

MINNEAPOLIS -- It's one of the oldest treatment centers in the world - and the Minneapolis AA house could have to close - unless something changes fast. 

The timing couldn't be worse. Substance abuse and overdoses skyrocketed during the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

It's a piece of recovery history, and these days it's a piece of work, as part of the 1887 building is crumbling.  This Minneapolis Alano AA Club is a place for people to go to meetings and keep themselves busy and sober in the evenings. 

It was a game changer for Emily Krasnenkova, who struggled with alcohol for ten long years.

"Even my family didn't think for a while that I could change, so this place was a vehicle that gave that back to me and in far greater ways than I could have imagined. I got not only my life back, but a new life. I'm healthy, I am happy, I am whole," she said.

Krasnenkova is now pregnant, meeting her husband at Alano while volunteering.

She wants others to be healthy here too, but the building is crumbling and the funding is fading.  

"COVID reduced our pledging numbers to less than a third of what they were and COVID reduced our income to less than a third.  And prior to COVID, we were barely scraping by," treasurer Cheryl Larson said.

So they are hoping to raise $250,000 for emergency repairs so they can keep repairing lives. Krasnenkova says with hope, "If we just reach the right people, our potential in the future is pretty boundless."

The hail Mary is an event they are holding this weekend: a motorcycle ride, family food fest and pancake breakfast on Saturday.

To learn more and support the fundraiser, click here.


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