New Evergreen recovery center will help veterans, others with substance use disorder

EVERGREEN, Colo. -- A new recovery center in Evergreen is expected to serve a large number of veterans and others with substance use disorders.

These types of centers are rare in mountain communities and that can pose problems for veterans seeking services.

The center will be called the The Spero (pronounced "sparrow"), which means "hope" in Latin.

It’s executive director, Butch Lewis, lost a brother and sister to addictions.

"What we wanted to do was create a cost-effective program that people were able to go to, seek services so they could learn to live with the disease they have and not (just) learn about the disease that they have," Lewis said.

Lewis says people who volunteer to come to Spero will work with people like Rourke Weaver, who has dealt with substance use disorders himself.

"We wanted to build something here that when they landed, they felt that community quickly and they felt a part of it," Weaver said.

The program will teach people how to live in a drug-free environment, how to make supportive friends and how to become responsible for their decisions and actions.

Veteran Andy Wann says the help is needed.

"Veterans have been overlooked in so many areas. I think this is a great thing," Wann said.

The Spero will charge $5,400 monthly, which is lower than fees at similar centers.

No sex offenders or people with a criminal background will be allowed at the center.

The Spero has scheduled a community meeting to introduce itself to neighbors next week.

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