Substance-Abuse-Recovery Nonprofit in Hillcrest Says It's on Verge of Closing

Since it opened its doors in 1983, the Alano Club has helped hundreds of individuals struggling with substance abuse, but the organization has struggled through the pandemic

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For five years, Yadin Carranza struggled with substance abuse.

“It got really bad very quickly for me,” Carranza said.

Carranza said he was living in New York, away from family and friends, when things got bad.

In 2018, Carranza decided he wanted to get sober, so he moved back to San Diego to be with his family and began the detox process. It wasn't easy; in fact, Carranza now remembers that time as his rock bottom.

“I had never tried to get sober before and it was really severe,” Carranza said. “I went into a psychosis, don't remember a lot of it.”

Carranza woke up in jail, where he found out he burned his sister's apartment to the ground.

“Seeing the state he was in when it happened brought me to tears,” said Melisa Medina, Carranza’s sister. “He was belligerent, it just wasn't him. It was like seeing a stranger on the TV."

Carranza was admitted into a rehab facility.  

“There were a lot of doors that closed on him at that moment just because of everything that was happening,” Medina said. “He was kind of just spiraling down, and he really needed someone to believe in him, and the Alano Club actually believed in him and gave him that break that he needed."

Since it opened its doors in 1983, the Alano Club has helped hundreds of individuals like Carranza through their recovery process.

The center survived it all. Then, COVID-19 hit.

“We depend on grants, as well as donations and our own fundraising efforts, but a lot of our revenue came from the coffee bar ... and we lost a lot of that,” Carranza said.

Today, the Alano Club in Hillcrest hangs by a thread.

“We’re in a place right now that the possibility that the Alano Club will fold is definitely there," Carranza said.

Carranza told NBC 7 he's sharing his story in hopes of getting the Alano Club the help it needs to survive.

“In a lot of ways, it's kind of like the last door left for a lot of people when they have no place to turn," Carranza said.

The Alano Club in Hillcrest set up an online fundraiser on Friday to help with expenses, but so far it has yet to have much success, raising less than $300 of it's $30,000 goal.

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