Hope in the Valley is set to close on property Jan. 18

Courier file photo Hope in the Valley is set to close on property owned by Alamosa County on Jan. 18, 2023, according to Justin Luke riley, one of the co-founders. The group is planning to open a residential treatment center in the space known locally as the ‘Rite of Passage’ building.

ALAMOSA — After an unanticipated delay, “Hope in the Valley,” the nonprofit that plans to open a residential treatment center in Alamosa, is now scheduled to close on property owned by Alamosa County for the facility in mid-January. The organization, which operates under three co-founders, plans to purchase the building locally known as “Rite of Passage” and to repurpose the structure for a 30-bed residential treatment and recovery center. 

A contract for $700,000 was signed with the Alamosa County Commissioners in mid-October with the hope of closing before the year’s end. But, according to Justin Luke Riley, one of the three co-founders and the spokesman for the group, a storm that dropped significant moisture on the building revealed some “problems with the building’s infrastructure.” Riley says that the issue has been resolved and, at this point, a closing date is set for Jan. 18, 2023. 

During a Dec. 20 interview with the Valley Courier, retiring Alamosa County Commissioner Michael Yohn suggested that a lack of funding might be responsible for the delay in closing on the sale, something Riley denied. 

“We have secured more (funding) than we need to purchase the building,” he said, “but it’s a matter of timing. We needed more time to ensure there was no larger issue (with the building), as when we started the project, we were informed there were no issues. Now that matter is resolved.”

The building will require renovations, mainly involving the removal of non-load-bearing walls and opening up the space. 

“We want to get rid of the jail vibe,” says Paul Reed, the second co-founder of the group who also runs a nationwide roofing company and has extensive experience in construction.

“Jail vibe is a good way to put it,” Riley says. “We want to create a space that is open and welcoming and encourages people interacting with each other and being comfortable.”

Riley says they have received bids from local contractors ranging from $250,000 to $300,000. And if there is a delay, it won’t be related to funding, either, as the cost of materials may be offset by in-kind donations. Making progress on the building will depend entirely on the availability of materials and how much time it takes to get them delivered.

“It’s really bad right now,” Reed says. “I deal with this all the time, and there’s no predicting it. You’ll think it’s getting better and then, all of a sudden, everything is tied up again. It’s crazy. And it makes it really hard to predict when you can get a project done.”  

When asked for a projected completion date, neither man would provide a definitive answer.

“I’d say 2023 is on the table,” Reed says. “We can’t commit to anything more specific than that.”

Riley says they have already held “multiple stakeholder meetings” and will continue to do so as the project progresses, including at least two or three community roundtables with local leaders, other organizations, and people with lived experiences to discuss plans and opportunities going forward. 

“We are looking forward to collaborating with anyone who is interested,” he says, “and are open to anything they have to say. We don’t want to just parachute into the community. We want to become a part of what’s going on.”

Hope in the Valley co-founders are scheduled for a “work session” with Alamosa County Commissioners on Jan. 10 when they will acquaint the new commissioner — Arlyn Van Ry — with the specifics of the project.

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