The architect of Harlem’s ARC has drawn some high praise.
The pioneering Addicts Rehabilitation Center honored its founder, James Allen, for 56 years of service to the drug treatment hub, the neighborhood’s first-such facility.
Established in 1957 on the second floor of the Manhattan Christian Reform Church on 122th St. and Seventh Ave., the organization now serves 2,000 clients per year at locations on Madison and Park Aves.
“He’ll never know the many lives he’s touched,” said the center’s CEO, the Rev. Reginald Williams, himself a former program participant who overcame a battle against drug abuse. “For someone to say they have a vision to help people who were shunned by the community and provide housing and support, and to do that for over 57 years without missing a day, speaks to his compassion and love for people.”
Allen, 89, said he’d always hoped he could help more people.
“We changed the atmosphere,” Allen said. “When you help drug victims, you change the personality, you drive drug dealers out by curing their addicts.”
The center, a residential drug rehabilitation complex with more than 400 beds, aids active and detoxified addicts over a period of six to nine months.
Rep. Charles Rangel presented an award to Allen at a benefit held Thursday at the Alhambra Ballroom. Assemblyman Keith Wright served as master of ceremonies, and state Sen. Bill Perkins and Councilwoman Inez Dickens presented proclamations.
SOURCE: N.Y. Daily News – Jan Ransom