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WILDWOOD — Cape Assist’s planned purchase of the K & K Building, at Leaming and New Jersey avenues, will continue the agency’s work of “totally prevention...we are not opening a drug rehab clinic,” said Lynne Krukosky, executive director.

She spoke in the wake of widespread opposition to the move including by Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. Those opposing voices were heard at the Aug. 12 city commissioners’ meeting. Krukosky said the agency has no plan to open a drug-treatment center in the new building. There will be no medically-assisted treatments, no methadone, she underscored.

“Cape Assist is dedicated to preventing and treating substance abuse and related issues in Cape May County through education, advocacy, counseling and community collaboration,” according to its website. The agency has operated in the county since 1982.

It provides counseling to about 100 individuals at 3819 New Jersey Ave. where it has operated since 2004, Krukosky said. While counseling is open to all county residents, the majority are from Wildwood, she said.

Because of that growing number the agency plans to move its prevention programs to the building at Leaming and New Jersey avenues, she said.

Krukosky said no representative of Cape Assist attended the Aug. 12 City Commission meeting because it was unaware that its plan would be discussed, as it was not on the agenda.

She said the mayor called and told her he was opposed to the planned purchase and activity.

“We have a flyer because we anticipated people would be nervous,” Krukosky said. That document explains the agency’s plans, she added.

The building housed a law office, and is located in a commercial zone that abuts a residential zone, she added.

Counseling done by Cape Assist includes individual, marital-couples, mental health, relapse prevention, providing addictions and co-occurring, family, group, substance abuse awareness class, and an intensive outpatient program.

It also includes those in Drug Court who “Got in trouble and want to do the right thing,” Krukosky said. “They have a hard row to hoe, they have to work and take nine hours of counseling. The people they (residents) have to worry about are people who aren’t going to counseling,” she added.

“We have been a good neighbor. That’s the point,” she said, “And we plan to continue to be a good neighbor.”

Freeholders passed a resolution Aug. 11 authorizing Triad Associates to help secure a grant from N.J. Department of Community Affairs, Small Cities Innovative Development Fund to improve the new building enhancing accessibility for persons with mobility issues. The county and Cape Assist will each pay $7,100 for Triad’s work.

Krukosky said the agency is seeking another grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development that will aid in acquisition of the building.

Cape Assist is annually licensed by the state, and that license includes the building and service provided. “We can’t just move,” said Krukosky, “It’s the facility that is licensed, not the people.”

“We are going ahead with the grant process, that will take a while,” Krukosky said. “We have an agreement with the seller and have some inspections to do before settlement.

“We have an opportunity to increase prevention, and with so many people needing counseling, this is needed,” she said.

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