Council grants permit for recovery center

The Borger City Council has approved a permit towards the opening of a recovery center in Borger.The permit request was made by Fellowship Baptist Church to use property located at 920 South Main Street for the placement of a center for those wishing to recover from alcohol or drug abuse.Kenneth Petr, Director of Planning and Zoning for the City of Borger, said the property was previously used for a nursing home, and is in a retail zoning area. However, the property can be used for a recovery center with a specific use permit. He said response from people living in the area has been positive towards approval of the permit.Bill Sizemore, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church, said the church desires to help men who have decided that a life of drug or alcohol addiction is not for them. The center will help reestablish them in their hearts and minds according to biblical scripture, he said.“There’s going to be tons of classes we take them through,” he said. “For the first 30 days, everything will be in-house, and then we will slowly begin moving them into work programs.”Sizemore said the church hopes to work with local businessmen in the community to see if it can rectify some of the problems Borger has with drug addiction, and help men not only overcome their addiction, but reestablish themselves as part of society.He said the church is looking at having Cody Lane operate the facility. Sizemore said that Lane, who is from Strawn, had operated a similar facility in that area, and actually came to the Borger area to check out what Fellowship Baptist was doing with its Celebrate Recovery program. The center will also have a full-time resident assistant on the premises to assist the guys and help them in any way needed.Sizemore said the men will be required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or Celebrate Recovery meetings, and some of these will be held in-house.The program is six months in length, and extensive background checks will be done on each man who expresses a desire to enter the program. Sizemore said there will be a zero tolerance policy enforced on the men housed in the center, as well as random drug testing. Those that relapse will be expelled from the program.“We have no desire to house drug addicts,” he said. “This place is not for them.”He said the purpose of the center is to help people who are serious about kicking their addictions.“If they’re going to continue to live that life, we don’t want them under our roof,” Sizemore said.The aim of the program is to rebuild the self-worth and self-esteem of the men who take part in it, and enable them to contribute to society. He also said one of the ultimate goals of the program is to see that these men come into relationship with the Lord. Sizemore said the men there will be held accountable and will be well-supervised. He also said the center will work with local law enforcement officials as well. The center’s primary focus will be on men in the Borger community, and is not being designed as a “halfway house” program, he said.Ted Wilson, pastor of St. Andrew United Methodist Church, said he knows Sizemore well, and has seen people go through the Celebrate Recovery program with wonderful results.“I think this is a positive and needed thing for this community,” he said.Mayor Jeff Brain agreed, saying he believes such a recovery center will help the City of Borger as a whole. He said there are numerous programs with focuses on women and children, which are good, but a program with a focus on men is direly needed.“If you can get men on the right track, you can get families on the right track,” he said.