17

Jun

Baseball Star Derek Jeter Expands Teen Rehab Center

Derek Jeter

New York Yankee great, Derek Jeter, was in Brandon, Florida on June 6 to mark the expansion of the Derek Jeter Center, a rehab facility for adolescents serving the Tampa Bay area.

The Derek Jeter Center is a part of Phoenix House, a non-profit treatment provider with locations throughout the United States. The center, funded by Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation, recently doubled capacity to meet growing demand for teen recovery services.

Derek Jeter himself went down to Brandon and donated $150,000 to the Center on Tuesday. “We understand everyone has bumps in the road and difficult times,” said the Yankees shortstop who retired from baseball in 2014. “We want them to know that there are places you can go for support.”

According to Fox 13, the Turn 2 Foundation is responsible for helping nearly 3,000 kids improve their lives, by connecting them with recovery services and giving out scholarships. Through the Derek Jeter Center, young people are offered life skills training, health education, aftercare, and help rebuilding family relationships.

“Everyone needs a strong supporting class,” said Jeter. “We try to supply all our kids with the support system that gives them a path to success.”

The successes of the Derek Jeter Center’s work with adolescents is a positive example of Florida’s vast substance use disorder treatment industry, but elsewhere in the Sunshine State, communities are struggling to handle the influx of rehab clients from out of state.

Local officials and some in the industry say that too many people are flocking to the state, especially Palm Beach County, to recover from substance use disorder. They say that those who fail to get well end up on the street and become a strain on local community resources like emergency services.

“Don’t send them here,” Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein recently told WLRN of South Florida. “Keep them where you are. We should focus on our own residents and people that have issues. Now we’ve got the burden of the rest of the country’s being shipped here.”

It certainly doesn’t help anyone’s chances of getting well that the lucrative South Florida rehab industry has attracted corrupt players looking to reap millions off this vulnerable population.

In May, Kenneth Chatman, who ran a group of sober homes, was recently sentenced to 27-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of money laundering, sex trafficking, human trafficking, and health care fraud.