CLEVELAND COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Cleveland County is investing half a million dollars to help residents battling addiction.

This donation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds is going to a program that’s changed the lives of many.

“When I walked in the doors at The Virtue Center, they treated me like a person,” said Shay Adkins, a board member at The Virtue Center. “I had this team that rallied around me.”

In 2016, Adkins was a client battling addiction.

“They wanted to help me,” she recalled. “They didn’t want to send me to prison. They wanted to help me get better.”

Her life is one of the thousands touched by the work done by this non-profit outpatient treatment center.

They’re hoping to expand their services with this $500,000 dollars in American Rescue Plan funds distributed by Cleveland County.

“As a health professional myself, I have seen firsthand the toll that this takes on our citizens of our community,” said Harold Haralson, Cleveland County District 3 Commissioner.

“What we do here is help them to find their own way and who they are,” said Teresa Collado, Executive Director and CEO at The Virtue Center. “Their lives are saved.”

The Virtue Center not only serves those battling addiction – but their families as well.

They say this money will help them achieve this goal.

“They may not even know where their loved one is,” Collado said. “Whether their person gets recovery or not. They still need support.”

This is the first distribution of $55 million in ARPA funds by Cleveland County. The rest will go out in the near future to benefit other sectors of the community.