Vets in Recovery Honored in Richmond Hill

Vets in Recovery Honored in Richmond Hill

Photo Courtesy of Gerold Picard/Shellbair Foto

Samaritan and OASAS officials clip the ceremonial red ribbon outside the newly renovated Ed Thompson Veterans Program on 89th Road in Richmond Hill.

By Forum Staff
Just days after Memorial Day, the State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services joined Samaritan Daytop Village at the organization’s newly renovated Richmond Hill facility to honor military veterans who are now recovering from addiction.
“Today, we honor our veterans who, after serving bravely, now fight, as civilians, a new battle against PTSD and substance use disorder,” Samaritan President and CEO Tino Hernandez said in remarks delivered during Thursday’s ceremony at the Ed Thompson Veterans Program on 89th Road.“Samaritan Daytop Village and the Ed Thompson Veterans Program proudly count ourselves among their staunchest allies and supporters, and we work with them to help them overcome their personal struggles and challenges.”
According to Samaritan, programs and services offered at the Richmond Hill center include group and individual counseling, relapse prevention counseling, trauma-specific therapies, primary and mental health care, vocational and employment services, family intervention, veteran benefits counseling, housing assistance, and aftercare services.
The 50-bed facility, which has undergone a $7.5 million renovation funded by OASAS, is named in honor of the National Guard and Korean War Army veteran Ed Thompson. Following his honorable discharge, the late Sgt. Thompson suffered from PTSD and addiction issues. He sought treatment and then embarked on a post-military career at Samaritan as a program director and advocate for those recovering from addiction.
According to Samaritan officials, in addition to modernizing the 50-year-old structure and bringing it up to current codes, new to the building are the top two floors of dormitory spaces, a client lounge, quiet/reading room, outdoor basketball court, outdoor grilling/seating area, and ADA-compliant ramps and an elevator.
“Providing substance use disorder care for veterans presents a unique set of challenges, and we owe it to them to do everything we can to meet the needs of those seeking that care,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said.
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