There’s a new place to find help for Islanders working to free themselves from dependencies on alcohol, opiates and other addictive substances.

On Monday, a small red house on the campus of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital will begin operating as the Peer Recovery Support Center, funded by the state and run by Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday was attended by more than 50 people, including state Rep. Dylan Fernandes. “This is an incredible investment,” Mr. Fernandes told the gathering.

The state is providing $400,000 a year over the next four years for Community Services to run the center.

“We are open to multiple paths of recovery,” said the new center’s program director, Jeremy Norton in an interview last week.  Mr. Norton formerly ran the community corrections center for the Dukes County sheriff’s department.

“We’re not going to be 12-step thumpers, although I come from that world,” he said. Instead of endorsing a single model of recovery, the newly-renovated center will welcome all.

“There are people who are getting better through medication-assisted treatment. Some people may get better through a drug and alcohol counselor, or being connected with a faith-based organization,” he said.

Program director Jeremy Norton. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Cognitive behavioral therapies, such as the Smart Recovery program, also assist those suffering with substance dependencies, Mr. Norton said.

Services at the support center will be free, as will the coffee in the house’s wide-windowed kitchen. Mr. Norton and three other staffers will host and offer assistance with computers and online access for people looking for work and other services.

Instead of providing counselors and therapists, the center will serve as a gathering place for Vineyarders to give and receive help with substance use disorders. Mr. Norton has contacted recovery groups around the Island to invite them to participate.

“The group will decide what we need,” Mr. Norton said.

 The center opens a new chapter in the history of the red house, which formerly served as billing offices for the hospital.

More than five years ago, the hospital and Martha’s Vineyard Community Services began discussions about using the house as a crisis stabilization center, where people suffering from drug and alcohol overdoses could be evaluated and treated without going to the hospital emergency room.

In 2017, the two agencies signed a 10-year lease with a nominal rent. “We’re paying a dollar a year,” Mr. Norton said.

But, he said, staffing and equipping a stabilization center proved to be too costly a prospect for a community the Vineyard’s size, where drug and alcohol crises requiring professional care don’t always happen every day.

The red house’s new incarnation is funded by a grant from the state Department of Public Health, which has seen success in peer-to-peer recovery centers elsewhere in Massachusetts.

“The peer-to-peer model is, ‘I have a lived experience with substance use and I’m going to talk to you as a peer. I’m not going to be an expert, I’m not going to be a professional, I’m not going to be a clinician . . . we’re just talking together,’” Mr. Norton explained.

The center will be open 40 hours a week at first, with expanded hours to come, he said. It's located on the driveway just north of the hospital's main automobile entrance on Eastville road.