Executive Council approves emergency $180K loan to cover Serenity Place employee wages

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Executive Council/File photo

CONCORD, NH –  On December 20, 2017, the state sought and the court approved a petition to enter the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, which operates Serenity Place, into receivership due to its financial condition. Families in Transition (FIT), a Manchester-based nonprofit agency, is currently acting as the receiver.

On Friday, the Governor and Executive Council voted to authorize the Department of Health and Human Services, Division for Behavioral Health, Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, to enter into a sole source Loan Agreement to provide the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence/Greater Manchester (NCADD) with a revolving line of credit not to exceed $180,000.  The Dec. 29 action will provide an emergency loan for employee-related expenses as FIT evaluates the financial and programmatic condition of the agency. Following the action, Governor Sununu released the following statement:

“First, let me say that I am grateful to the leadership team at Families in Transition for stepping up and quickly and thoroughly assessing operations at Serenity Place in a few short days and over a holiday weekend.  Together with staff from the State’s Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, Families in Transition has developed a plan for the continued provision of the critical services provided at Serenity Place.”

“Continuity of care is the most critical component of this transition plan.  All clients formerly treated at Serenity Place programs will have the ability to continue to receive services.  In some cases, clients will be transitioned to other providers in Manchester.  There will be changes and improvements to care going forward, but it is important to underscore that program like Safe Stations in Manchester will continue without a gap in services for the citizens of New Hampshire.”

“In addition to ensuring continuity of care, we must also turn to a discussion of accountability.  To that end, the Commissioner of Health and Human Services several months ago initiated a plan that requires all state funded addiction programs be audited.  The financial and operational mismanagement at Serenity Place is tragic and unacceptable.  I commend Attorney General Gordon MacDonald for initiating a more extensive investigation and am eager to learn of his findings.”

“Going forward, it is imperative that all addiction treatment service providers learn from the situation at Serenity Place. These programs are responsible for treating our most vulnerable residents.  Their financial and operational integrity depends on their officers and directors. While the State is moving forward with audits of every addiction treatment program that receives State resources, I encourage officers and directors of all behavioral health treatment, prevention, and recovery programs to conduct their own internal review of policies and procedures to ensure that they are sufficiently equipped management wise and have sound procedures in place to continue to provide important services to those with substance use disorders.”