HOPE Recovery Center reopens


After the detonation of over 2,000 unexploded ordnances found at the HOPE Recovery Center, HOPE staff and members of the CNMI administration host a ribbon-cutting ceremony in celebration of the reopening of the recovery center. (Kimberly B. Esmores)

The Substance Abuse, Addiction, and Rehabilitation Program under the Office of the Governor reopened yesterday the Hinemlu Ohala Para Enteramenti, HOPE, Recovery Center after a four-month long relocation.

Members of the CNMI administration, including Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Cabinet members, members of the CNMI Judiciary, and various government agencies joined HOPE Center staff yesterday at the ribbon cutting ceremony in Marpi.

The center, which had to close its doors for four months while the U.S Department of Defense came in to clear the area of unexploded ordnances, was created back in 2019 to help individuals plagued by addiction by providing them a safe, sober, and supportive environment to get clean.

According to Yvette R. Sablan, special assistant for Substance Abuse, Addiction, and Rehabilitation, it felt great to be back at the center after being relocated to the Gold Beach Hotel for four months.

“We’re really pleased to be back. Being away from here, it was really quite challenging. While we were away, the difference really is the logistics. Being in the center of the island, we were just exposed to a lot of activity as opposed to up here. As you can tell coming in, it’s just one way in, one way out and accessibility is not easy for folks that just want to come in and do something crazy. But down there, it was just quite challenging for the residents and for ourselves, the staff, as well,” she said.

Sablan said she had her concerns before returning, like how the place would look when they returned, given that the whole area was excavated in search of unexploded ordnances, but, to their surprise, everything was put back together, thanks to HydroGeoLogic, Inc., the U.S DoD’s contracting company.

“We couldn’t wait to come back. We were just so excited. We were really looking forward to coming in but expecting that the grounds would be a mess, as we were told that there’ll be a lot of digging. I’ve been here and seen that it was all just completely dug up, potholes everywhere. But we came back and realized how everything was really put back together,” she said.

Currently, HOPE houses 16 individuals who are recovering from addiction.

In addition, HOPE has about 18 staff who help run the place and help care for the residents.

At the HOPE Center, services provided include individual therapy, group sessions, family education, and life skills. Individuals are also taught medication management, are provided employment and vocational training, and support to address overall crisis.

The goal at the HOPE Center is to ensure that residents can practice and improve their interpersonal and life skills, which supports their reintegration efforts.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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