Anchorage expresses need

ALBANY -- Kenny Phillips, executive director of The Anchorage, said as unemployment numbers skyrocket and the economy continues to slump, more men and women are looking to the treatment center for help.

"We currently have a waiting list of 140 men," he said. "This is a struggling time in any man or woman's life."

Phillips said The Anchorage, a Christian-based drug and alcohol treatment center in Leesburg, is at full capacity with 55 men currently being treated.

"These men are tired of the life they are living and are reaching out for help," he said. "We don't add to their shambles by taking money from someone who has exhausted their resources."

However, Phillips said that the men do not necessarily stay at the facility for free.

"It's not free for them," he said. "They work everyday. We are doing building maintenance, gardens and they work as volunteers at the food bank and local churches."

Phillips said men who enter The Anchorage's program have a very structured day of classes.

"What we do is very different," he said. "It's a strong spiritual approach, so we teach them God's word but they also learn about financial management, hygiene, cleanliness and computer skills. There is no free time available at The Anchorage."

Phillips said the program is designed to provide residents with long-term care and to try and instill good habits to replace drug usage.

"They have to be serious about recovery," he said. "If you want to change, you have to go after it. We are creating habits, positive habits, in their lives."

The Anchorage, Phillips said, plans to continue its mission of helping individuals throughout the United States.

"We don't have just people from Albany," he said. "They come from all over."

However, as it has other nonprofits, the economy has put a dent into the organization's funding.

"We are struggling, but with God's help we will make it through," Phillips said.

Anchorage officials say it costs $485 to house a man at the facility, but the program has an 80 percent success rate.

"Eight out of 10 men are successful at recovery," Phillips said. "That is what we want. We want these men to go back to their families and communities and do good."

For more information about The Anchorage or to make a donation, visit www.anchorageofalbany.org or you can mail a check to 162 Hampton Lane, Leesburg, 31763.