The ABCCM Doctors’ Medical Clinic in Asheville, North Carolina is a free and charitable medical clinic, providing comprehensive healthcare services and access to medication to uninsured patients. In addition to free medical care, ABCCM operates several ministries, including transitional housing and recovery ministries for women and children, veterans, and civilian men.  

The CCME Foundation provided a $25,330 grant to fund the navigation and integration of clinical care at Costello House, a recovery living and transitional housing center which serves men experiencing homelessness in Asheville. The center opened in June 2022, and with support from and in partnership with the Doctors’ Medical Clinic, Costello House will be able to deploy best practice procedures and processes for initial intake, evaluation, and connection to care with clinic providers, pharmacy, community primary care, and behavioral health providers.  

The men who come to Costello house are experiencing homelessness and oftentimes have significant substance use challenges. Referred by recovery agencies, they are required to be drug free when entering the program and agree to participate in the residential program’s requirements. Costello House provides residents with a longer-term solution to recovery, such as resources for school and work, housing, and medical screening, including substance use disorders. Nestled within a quiet residential street in Asheville, Costello House is a neighbor, reminding the men that they belong within the wider community no matter what challenges they have faced. In partnership with the residential community, they host cookouts and invite the neighborhood.  

All residents are evaluated within twenty-four hours for their medical needs, and with the Doctors’ Medical Clinic, a plan is developed to assist them with their medications and any other clinical needs. The goal of the program is to establish routines so the residents can learn to manage their own medications and health care – finding that sweet spot where they are held accountable for following their medication plans and documentation but without being overly controlling. When residents take a survey about their confidence level in taking care of their own health, many indicate that they are much more comfortable doing so after being served through the program. The Program Manager, Alvarez Abernathy, stated, “We think this is a great partnership and we hope that it can develop the type of behavior that can be productive for the residents.”      

It takes a long time to heal the brain from years of substance or alcohol use, so convincing the residents to stay for the long-term healing process – especially after they get a job – is a part of the challenge. However, when the program is embraced, there are some exceptional redemption stories. One young resident battled alcoholism and had a daughter who lived in another state. At some point in entering Costello house, it was discovered that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Costello House told him that they would hold his bed, so he turned himself in, served time in jail for several months, and when he returned to Costello House, he had alcohol in his system. However, rather than turn him away, Costello House took him in again, and after following the program, managing his medication and health, he began attending school and was able to visit with his daughter. This young man is now a model within the court system for the program at Costello House.  

To learn more about the work the ABCCM Doctors’ Medical Clinic with Costello House, please visit