by Rick Winterson

South Boston’s Gavin Foundation has been in the forefront of the war (yes, it’s a war) against the ongoing opioid crisis, as well as providing a full spectrum of services that deal with addiction, recovery, and substance abuse. The Foundation has 14 key programs, facilities, and activities, which are centered in South Boston but range over the City of Boston and down into Quincy.

The Gavin’s Quincy operation is a 64-bed, state-of-the-art, rehabilitation facility that provides medically managed services – comprehensive treatment from caring, licensed professionals. It was established in 2015; it was initially a partnership with the Phoenix House. Late last year, in December, the Gavin Foundation took full ownership of the Quincy facility. It is now called “Gavin Foundation Quincy ATS/ CSS”, with the abbreviations ATS and CSS standing respectively for “Acute Treatment Services” and “Clinical Stabilization Services”.

To markthistransition, lastMonday afternoon the Gavin Foundation and various elected officials held a symbolic ceremonial ribbon-cutting in the Quincy Council Chambers located at Quincy’s historic Old City Hall.

The ribbon-cutting event’s speakers included Gavin Foundation President John McGahan, who emceed the program. Both Congressman Stephen Lynch and Quincy Mayor Tom Koch spoke as well. The Quincy City Council members and staff, the Gavin’s Board of Directors, the Gavin Quincy staff, and its program participants were among the guests.

In his opening remarks, McGahan expressed his profound gratitude to everyone who brought the Gavin Quincy operation about, especially Quincy Mayor Koch. He then introduced a young woman in recovery with support from the Gavin Foundation, whose remarks about her own “Journey” were extremely affecting recovery with support from the Gavin Foundation, whose remarks about her own “Journey” were extremely affecting (she received a standing ovation!). Congressman Lynch expressed his own gratitude for the Gavin Foundation’s continuing efforts, and praised them for extending their efforts into Quincy. Mayor Koch spoke likewise, as well as telling the story about his own growing awareness of the opioid crisis in Quincy. He also mentioned receiving pledges from certain drug firms NOT to market their addictive painkillers so aggressively, by (sometimes) claiming these products weren’t really addictive.

The ribbon arrayed at the front of the Council Chambers – a royal (perhaps) purple band of cloth – was then well and truly cut, with a single snip of the outsized scissors. A collation in the Old City Hall followed.

The present day Gavin Foundation is a non-profit agency that provides comprehensive adult, youth, and community substance abuse programs, involving education, prevention, treatment, and recovery. The Foundation grew from the efforts of James Gavin just over 50 years ago. In the 1960s, Gavin, a South Boston resident, converted the upper floors of his home on East Fourth Street (near K) into a recovery facility for alcoholics. Gavin’s converted home became the prototype for so-called “halfway houses” and it grew into the current day Gavin Foundation.