Before closing its doors in 2019, Comprehensive Addiction Programs provided residential treatment to Fresno residents for more than 40 years.
“I got to see people in addiction and how they act and what they do and how they treat their family. And then I got to see people once they’ve conquered that addiction as a result of CAP.” — Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer
Now there’s good news for folks in need of healing services — CAP is back and fully funded for the next five years by Fresno County.
To celebrate its recent reopening, the treatment facility held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday morning attended by substance abuse clients and their families, nonprofits, clinical therapists, and both city and county officials.
As one of the first persons to capitalize on CAP’s rebirth, Spencer Irwin is one month clean and has already been offered a job working for CAP once he graduates from the program.
“I knew my life was getting off track,” said Irwin. “I have a career, I have all these things, and I didn’t want to continue. If I continued down the path I was going, I was going to lose all of those things.”
The CAP treatment center is at 2445 West Whites Bridge Avenue in west Fresno
Here’s What CAP Has to Offer
RH Community Builders is overseeing CAP and the organization’s executive director, Katie Wilbur, says it will provide free substance abuse treatment for any Fresno County resident receiving Medi-Cal.
The program currently has 20 registered and certified substance abuse counselors, and four registered or licensed clinicians.
The center has 70 beds reserved for individuals needing substance abuse counseling in a 90-day program.
In addition, there are 15 beds to detox people who are actively high when they enter for treatment.
Housing is Often a Big Hurdle in Staying Sober
Irwin joined the CAP program voluntarily, and while he doesn’t know what exactly led him to drugs, he’s determined to change his life around.
This time for good, he says.
“I was a functioning addict for a long time,” said Irwin. “But then other drugs became involved and heroin was a big one.”
As he gets ready to finish the program, Irwin hopes he can get help with free housing, and hopefully back to the career he once had working as a concrete worker.
Housing is the biggest issue for Irwin, and securing a place to live is the easiest path to getting back on his feet. At the moment, Irwin has completed a 60-day stay but will remain in the program until he reaches 90 days.
“I turn 29 on Halloween and by 30, I would like to at least be paying money on a house, you know, because I’ve rented houses before, and I’d actually like to buy a house and fix it up because I’m a construction worker,” said Irwin. “So that would kind of be the dream and I think I can get that done in a year.”
Magsig, Dyer Vouch for CAP’s Effectiveness
Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig recalled working down the street from the facility many years ago. He remembers CAP’s positive impact on people and the community.
“When I think about 85 beds and I think about the need that we have here in Fresno County, we are only scratching the surface,” said Magsig. “But this is a facility where people can come who maybe don’t have insurance. The need for more facilities like this is huge.”
Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer also spoke of the need for facilities like CAP recognizing that while Fresno has many needs, substance-abuse recovery programs top the list.
He recalled bringing in several individuals for treatment when he was Fresno’s police chief.
“I got to see people in addiction and how they act and what they do and how they treat their family,” said Dyer. “And then I got to see people once they’ve conquered that addiction as a result of CAP.
“So I’m going to tell you, as the mayor of the city, I can’t think of anything that we need more than a program like the comprehensive addiction program that we have today.”