The Joliet City Council on Tuesday will reconsider a drug rehabilitation center that city rejected under the past administration.
Volunteers of America Illinois, already operating in Joliet, wants to build a treatment center at the former Silver Cross Hospital campus for women recovering from drug addictions.
The 48-unit housing facility would be particularly devoted to women recovering from opioid addictions, according to a staff report on the project submitted to the City Council.
Unlike in January 2022, when Volunteers of America Illinois withdrew the plan amid opposition from City Hall, the proposal now has support from city staff.
Mayor Terry D’Arcy, who took office in May, also supports the project.
“I saw the plan the first time it was brought to the city and thought it was a good program for our community,” D’Arcy said Friday. “They’re here to help people who have issues from addictions.”
D’Arcy took office in May after being elected in the April election.
Previous Mayor Bob O’Dekirk questioned the number of live-in social service programs being established in Joliet for people experiencing drug addictions and homelessness, noting they weren’t being opened elsewhere in Will County.
Previous City Manager James Capparelli echoed the same concerns and voiced objections to the VOA Illinois project.
VOA Illinois withdrew the proposal in January 2022 after meeting with Capparelli who made clear his opposition to the plan.
“There’s nothing to be gained by continuing a very public and ugly battle about this project,” VOA Illinois President and CEO Nancy Hughes Moyer said at the time. “It is clear this is a discussion for another day.”
Hughes Moyer did not respond to a call for comment Friday.
VOA Illinois already has apartments for homeless veterans at the former Silver Cross Hospital campus.
The live-in center from women recovering from addictions would be built across the street at 1301 Copperfield Ave.
VOA Illinois would build the center on 2.1 acres on the north side of Copperfield and west of North Hebbard Street. The facility would include one- and two-bedroom units for women and their children. Residents would have access to counseling and children’s programs, according to a staff memo on the project.
The Zoning Board of Appeals has recommended approval for the special use permit needed by VOA Illinois before it can proceed with the project. City staff also recommends approval for the permit.