New center to help those with heroin addiction to open in South St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – At Broadway and Montana in south St. Louis, across the street from the former Alexian Brothers Hospital, inside a renovated beauty salon, Chad Sabora is hoping to impact lives.

When a FOX 2 reporter arrived Monday afternoon, Sabora was on the telephone.

"With insurance and such, and having the four-month-old, I could get her somewhere a lot quicker," said Sabora, to an unidentified caller.  "But I got to get her somewhere she can take the baby."

This space is where Sabora and his colleagues plan to open the Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery and the Phoenix Legal Center, December 18.

Sabora said, "We help families and individuals that are struggling with addiction.  Due to the opiate epidemic, 90% of our clients are opiate/heroin dependent."

Sabora keeps his phone close.  And it rings often.

"Some days my phone won't ring and other days it's going no-stop starting at 6 a.m, with people saying 'I'm ready; I need help.'  And the point of care should be that of cancer or a gunshot wound.  But it's not.  I have to stay on the phone for days to try to find somebody a bed to get some help."

Though "MO Network," as it's known is just now getting a space to work out of, Sabora said they've actually been impacting lives in this area for three years now.  In the past they've worked out of coffee shops, and did most of their intervention by telephone.

"It goes anywhere from a mother with a 4-month-old that we're working on, to an 18-year-old girl from Ladue... there goes my phone again... to a girl that's sitting in a jail that we got into treatment.  We're trying to get approved by the prosecutor so she can go to treatment instead of jail."

Sabora said they help as many as 20 or 30 people from this area a month get into treatment for heroin addiction.