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Commission allocates $35,000 to Kanawha Valley Fellowship Home

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A local agency known for helping men struggling with drug and alcohol abuse get on their feet was in need of a little helping hand itself.

So, in its need, the Kanawha Valley Fellowship Home turned to the Kanawha County Commission, which allocated $35,000 to the agency during Thursday's meeting.

The funds will be used to pay for bathroom repairs and carpet replacement at the home located in downtown Charleston. The money was allocated from the county's table game fund.

All three county commissioners thanked representatives from the agency for the work they have done in the community.

"It's just really impressive what you're doing there," Commissioner Dave Hardy said.

Last year, there were 51 residents participating in the program in an attempt to get sober, said Dave McFarland, executive director.

Of those, 41 have completed the program and are now working, he said.

Men participating in the program must undergo a 12-step program to reach sobriety, McFarland said. They are also randomly drug tested.

They also are expected to work and help out around the house.

"We're really proud of what we do, and we appreciate all the support from the community," McFarland said.

Commission President Kent Carper pointed out that the commission can only provide funds to outside agencies on a limited basis and that the group should not look at it as an "entitlement."

That said, Carper also thanked the group for its work and praised them for how well the organization is run.

"If every nonprofit agency operated like this it would be a lot better community," he said.    

The Kanawha Valley Fellowship Home, located in downtown Charleston, was founded in 1960.

Over the years, the agency has helped many men struggling with substance abuse to become productive citizens yet again.

Like many nonprofits, the group accepts donations. Donations can be sent to Kanawha Valley Fellowship Home 1121 Virginia St. E., Charleston, WV 25301.

Commissioners also heard an update about community cleanups held in the spring and fall.

Four cleanups already have been held in the county this spring. A total of 4,016 cars have come through the drop off points, according to figures provided by Colt Sandoro, deputy county planner.

Participants have dropped off 8,641 tires, 655 tons of debris and trash, 54 tons of metal and 61 tons of electronic waste, according to the figures.

"That's a lot of tires that don't end up being thrown over the hill or in a creek somewhere," Hardy said. 

The tires are handed over to the state Department of Environmental Protection, which recycles them into material like mulch, Sandoro said.

The commission budgeted about $190,000 to pay for the seven cleanups being held this year.

The spring cleanups are over, but more will be held in the fall, Sandoro said.     

Contact writer Paul Fallon at paul.fallon@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817. Follow him at www.twitter.com/PaulBFallon.

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