The Last Stop’s last stand? Why a Philly addiction recovery house is fighting to stay open

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Nathanial McCray (center) leads the morning mediation at the Last Stop recovery center on Feb. 19, 2019. Meditation meetings encourage the center clients to remain mindful and present. McCray was picked to lead the meeting due to the positive example that he's set in his sobriety. A different client in good standing is picked to lead the meeting each morning. (Rachel Wisniewski for WHYY)

Nathanial McCray (center) leads the morning mediation at the Last Stop recovery center on Feb. 19, 2019. Meditation meetings encourage the center clients to remain mindful and present. McCray was picked to lead the meeting due to the positive example that he's set in his sobriety. A different client in good standing is picked to lead the meeting each morning. (Rachel Wisniewski for WHYY)

The Last Stop has offered free recovery services for people struggling with addiction in Philadelphia for decades, including hundreds of people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to pay for rehab. However, it recently ran up against code violations and some $2 million in fines from the city — in part, because the operator was allowing some people to live there early in their recovery, even though the building isn’t zoned for residential use. Now, it could be forced to shut down. The predicament places The Last Stop in the middle of ongoing debates about how to address the Philadelphia’s addiction crisis. On this episode of The Why, reporter Joel Wolfram explains why The Last Stop fills a void in a city where addiction is widespread and free services are desperately needed.

Reporting for this episode was supported by the Thomas Scattergood Foundation for Behavioral Health.

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