A Sioux Falls based organization established to help people facing addiction is expanding to the northeast part of the state.
Leaders of Face It TOGETHER say support for people with that disease is especially important during the state's current worker shortage. An Aberdeen affiliate plans to open later this year.
As "Help Wanted" signs hang in the Hub City, its unemployment rate is low.
"Aberdeen is constantly advertising for jobs, jobs, jobs. We need bodies. We need talent. We need people to come here to work," business owner Troy McQuillen said.
The community doesn't need more people leaving the workforce. That can happen if those battling addictions don't get the help they need.
"I nearly lost everything that was important to me, including my own life," Kevin Kirby said.
After facing addiction himself, Face it TOGETHER founder Kevin Kirby wants to help others battling addictions.
Through partnerships with Aberdeen businesses and other donations, the group is hoping to raise $150,000 to start offering services in the Hub City by June. The program won't replace existing services but will serve as a hub, connecting people with help.
"Being a clearing house, being the very visible, very well-known go-to place in this community to answer every conceivable question people might have about the disease or about resources or what next," Kirby said.
Because addiction can lead to less productivity and even the loss of skilled workers, leaders of Face It TOGETHER believe helping those employees is a money-saving investment for businesses, especially when workers are in short supply.
"We need to be able to help them seek recovery and treatment so they can stay in the workforce and stay in the community and be a vital component to our community," McQuillen said.
The organization is looking to partner with any sector that could benefit from fewer people facing addiction. Interested parties have been discussing a possible start up in Aberdeen since 2012.
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