For people in addiction treatment, coronavirus represents another challenge

Posted at 7:07 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 07:28:30-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - For the typical person, preventing coronavirus might be as simple as avoiding crowds and spending time at home...but when you're in treatment for addiction, life is anything but typical.

Like everyone else, Youth Challenge of Hampton Roads is learning to adjust to a world fighting a pandemic.

The faith-based addiction treatment program requires men and women in recovery to live in its Newport News facilities for up to a year.

Executive Director Travis Hall says, like people on the outside, Youth Challenge is promoting handwashing and keeping a safe distance while also cleaning the building more frequently.

Access is more limited than normal with some of the typical gatherings and meetings, like Alcoholics Anonymous, canceled for the time being.

"(We're) monitoring everybody on a regular basis. If anybody expresses any symptoms at all, we're quick to take them to get medical attention and have them tested. We had a guy here who was symptomatic. We took him to the hospital and the test came back positive for the regular flu so he went home for a couple days," said Hall.

The impact goes beyond day-to-day life, however. Hall says Youth Challenge had to cancel a big fundraiser planned for the spring.

The good news is principal sponsor Langley Federal Credit Union still came through in its commitment to support the non-profit, but when relying solely on donations, losing out on any fundraising dollars can make a difference.

Still, Hall sees the situation as a teaching moment for his men and women recovering from addiction.

"This is obviously a big disruption for everybody, but for them to be able to have some consistency here, protection and safety here, amidst all this chaos, it helps them to understand the stability they have with God and their faith," said Hall.

For more information about Youth Challenge of Hampton Roads and how to donate, visit the website.