Handicapped man denied access to Center of Hope

Oct 18, 2015 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Officials at Volunteers of America, which runs the facility, said the center meets "appropriate standards" for accessibility based on its licensing arrangement.

An Ethete man was arrested last week for public intoxication after being denied access to the Center of Hope detoxification facility in Riverton.

Riverton Police Department reports indicate Reginald Shakespeare, 51, of Ethete, was not allowed at the Center of Hope because he was in a wheelchair. Instead he was arrested for public intoxication at about 5:50 p.m. Sept. 30 in the 1200 block of North Federal Boulevard.

The local director at the Center of Hope said she could not speak to the issue. Instead she referred questions to Kelly Buckingham, clinical division director for the Volunteers of America, which operates the center in Riverton.

Buckingham said she could not comment about the specific incident, as it involved a client, but she did say the Center of Hope meets "appropriate standards" for handicap accessibility based on its licensing arrangement.

"We're in compliance with our standards and with our licensing," she said.

She added that there are plans to apply for funding for a remodel of the Center of Hope in the coming months.

The Center of Hope is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, an independent nonprofit founded in 1966.

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