HENDRY COUNTY, FL - Christian charity, St. Matthew's House plans to expand its substance abuse program dubbed 'Justin's Place' to a Labelle hotel as early as March of next year. The Port Labelle Hotel is already under contract for purchase by the organization and officals with St. Matthew's house are simply waiting for the go-ahead from the Hendry County Commission, who must approve the treatment facility's plans.
Once approved, 'Justin's Place' will treat as many as 60 men in a 7 month program to help them get off of drugs and alcohol. According to St. Matthew's House president, Vann Ellison, the program has an 85% success rate.
But despite the positive record, some who live near the Port Labelle Inn are not pleased about the idea. Some say the program will bring "undesireables" to the area and bring property values down and raise crime rates.
But Ellison defends the program, saying there were similar cries when 'Justin's Place' opened in Naples. So far he says, none of the fears have been realized there and he expects to have a positive relationship with his new "neighbors" in Labelle as well.