Arise Director Paul Trovarello stands outside the home at 11 Lincoln St., Machias, for which the group now holds the deed. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY JOHANNA S. BILLINGS

Nonprofit recovery center takes ownership of property

MACHIAS — Arise Addiction Recovery has acquired the deed to the property where it has helped 72 men combat addiction since 2016.

“Having the deed to the property helps us tremendously in grant writing,” said Director Paul Trovarello. “You can’t write a grant to do improvements on a home you don’t own.”

Arise was founded in 2015 as a weekly prayer meeting and Bible study. In December that year, the nonprofit Recovery Support Network offered Arise a 100-year-old home at 11 Lincoln St. to start a residential recovery program. In order to obtain the deed, Arise had to pay off the $11,000 owed on the property and then operate the recovery program successfully for three years.

The faith-based program opened in August 2016 with 12 beds. The debt on the building was repaid at that time. Since then, 72 men have participated in the program. Of those, 32 have graduated and 22 have remained sober.

“Several marriages have been restored and multiple families have been reunited with sober fathers,” Trovarello said. “Additionally, men previously in bondage to their addiction have returned to the workforce.”

The overall annual costs of running the program are about $100,000.

“It’s an expense and, by the grace of God, we’re able to do it,” he said.

Support from the community has been crucial. For the past two years at Christmas, an anonymous donor has given Arise $25,000. Many other donors regularly give smaller amounts. Sometimes donations are completely unexpected.

“Every once in a while, I go get the mail and there’s a check for $1,000,” Trovarello said.

About half of the men who have gone through the program are from out of state. Several of them have made Washington County their permanent home upon graduation, Trovarello said.

“It’s because of the people. They fall in love with … the people in this area,” he said. “Arise and Downeast Maine, it was a perfect match.”

Kyle Calise, who is currently two months away from graduating from the nine-month program, does not plan to return to New Jersey.

“This is home for me now. It took me 30 years to leave what I thought was home,” he said. “I’ve learned more here in the past six months than I have in my whole life.”

Calise said he wound up at Arise after a brush with the law. He is grateful he had the chance to try the program instead.

Trovarello is also personally familiar with addiction. In 1995, he became addicted to painkillers and, then, to heroin. The New Jersey native went to detox 11 times and to jail 16 times before getting sober in 2014 at Calvary Residential Discipleship in Orrington.

He understands the despair that accompanies addiction, especially when others write you off as a hopeless cause.

“I [was] the example of the guy that people said is never going to get it,” Trovarello said.

The Arise program lasts nine months and costs about $4,000 per person. Arise does not accept commercial insurance because, according to Trovarello, insurers cap coverage for recovery treatment at 30 days. That is not enough time, he said.

“When you’re in addiction, you make a mess of your life,” he said. A person who has been sober for a month does not have the skills to cope with the marital problems, family estrangement and financial issues caused by choices made as the result of addiction, he said.

Arise does offer some of what Trovarello calls “scholarship beds” to those who cannot afford to pay. Out of the 12 men in the program now, five did not pay.

“When the guy gets a job, I’ll have the guy pay a little money toward tuition,” Trovarello said. “You don’t want to get the handout mindset.”

In fact, getting a job is an important part of the Arise program, and usually occurs four to five months in. The men also participate in a money management course.

“When a guy graduates from Arise, he is clean and sober,” said Trovarello, “but not just that. He’s going to have a job, he’s going to have a bank account with his name on it and he’s going to have made good on his debts.”

Johanna S. Billings

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Johanna S. Billings covers eastern Hancock County and western Washington County. An avid photographer, she lives in Steuben with her husband and several cats. She welcomes tips and story ideas. Email her at [email protected]

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