Bedford Co. halfway home proposal to go before planning commission

BEDFORD CO., Va. – The special use permit for the site of a proposed halfway home will be considered by the Bedford County government next week, and some neighbors are voicing concerns.

Sobrius is the name of the addiction treatment center that plans to move into the property on Lowry Road.

Neighbor Sabrah Briers’ land borders the center. She voiced concerns about the center moving into the area she calls residential and agricultural.

Another concern for Briers is the proximity to Otter River Elementary School, just around a mile away.

“As you can see it’s an open campus,” Briers said. “Which is detrimental to our children who are nearby.”

County Director of Community Development Jordan Mitchell said he’s heard from a concerned school leader.

“We did receive notification from the School Board Chairman that the schools were against this facility going that close to them,” Mitchell said. “All of the input so far, it really hasn’t been positive.”

Doug Fullaway, Chief Financial Officer for Sobrius, said residents will have escorts if they ever go off property, and they’re careful who they bring in. The company owns two other rehab centers in Bassett and Galax.

“For example in Galax, we have 24 beds there,” Fullaway said. “We have 80 people on the list asking to get in today. It’s that way all the time. So we don’t just take everybody, we would never take anybody who has any kind of violent background at all.”

Fullaway said they selected the Lowry Road property for its rural, quiet setting, hopeful it can be a place of recovery for people suffering from addiction.

“We want to give them a place where they’re loved,” Fullaway said. “Somebody’s teaching them what they can do to control their lives and get better and go back to a normal life.”

The county’s planning commission will hear the proposal at 7 p.m. next Tuesday.

About the Author:

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.