Reality center reopens with new name and role

About seven months after abruptly closing its doors amid lost contracts and controversy over its leadership, the former Reality Inc. addiction treatment center on Main Street reopened Thursday, Dec. 1 – albeit with a slightly different name, leadership and role.

The reopening of the former center, which originally opened in 1974 and had more recently operated a 28-day substance-abuse treatment program and an adjacent halfway house, was made possible through its recent merger with the Anne Arundel County-based Hope House, a substance abuse treatment facility in Crownsville.

It is now called the "Reality House," and is expected to provide the Hope House with more beds for its paying clients.

The former Reality was closed in April after Prince George's County health officials removed the clients there who the county had referred to the agency, making it clear that contracts the county held with the agency – which a source previously told the Laurel Leader amounted to about 95 percent of the agency's funding – would not be continued.

The county had paid Reality, a private agency that was licensed by the state, a large portion of clients' treatment costs.

At the time, Dr. Donald Schell, the county's top health officer, said, "There are certain state regulations that we abide by for administrative oversight and clinical services, and Reality was not in compliance with them, so we found other places for the clients."

Those close to the situation previously said that decision was based on Reality not having the required medical staff in place to operate as it did.

The new Reality House is not expected to immediately seek government contracts for placing patients, according to news reports.

Jeremy Savin, a marketing liaison with Hope House, declined to comment for this story, and said no one else from Hope House would comment either.

Peter D'Souza, the organization's executive director, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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