NOVA III Finds the Ideal Home in Philadelphia’s Germantown Neighborhood
May 3, 2022
RHD’s NOVA III program is a residential program for medically fragile people with mental health diagnoses and co-occurring substance abuse disorders. For two-and-a-half years, the program resided in Norristown, PA, a temporary location that had some drawbacks, including a lack of building accessibility for wheelchair users.
However, this past November, NOVA III settled into its new permanent location, 219 East High Street, in Philadelphia, PA’s Germantown neighborhood. And everything has changed.
Director Susan Gueye shared, “We’re very excited to now be in a completely accessible building. It’s beautiful too. Everyone has their own bedroom. They have their own sanctuary; they can close their door, and they have a key. It’s a big deal.”
The new location was previously owned by the state Department of Corrections. Before NOVA III could move in, the building required a full renovation. “It had a bunch of opaque windows that couldn’t open,” said Gueye. The building was “completely gutted.” The NOVA III team “got to pick out the flooring, the colors, pick where the sinks should be,” among other changes, including replacing the windows. Gueye explained that it took over a year to complete the renovations.
The fully renovated location now has 14 bedrooms, in addition to an elevator, nurses’ station, office, group room, two therapy rooms, dining area, kitchen, and bathrooms. There is a driveway and back entrance. “We don’t use the front door at all. All the comings and goings are in the back,” Gueye stated.
When asked what participants and staff think of the new location, she exclaimed, “Are you kidding? They love it!” To learn more about RHD’s Addiction Recovery programs, visit: www.rhd.org/program_area/addiction-recovery/