Next summer will be a significant milestone for Vince Carter and it will have nothing to do with his basketball career. That's when the Vince Carter Sanctuary is expected to open in Bunnell, Fla., just west of his hometown of Daytona Beach. A 100-bed treatment center for those with chemical addiction problems, the Sanctuary is funded by Carter. Of the $8 million in construction costs, Carter and his mother, Michelle Carter-Scott are committing $1.6 million. Carter agreed to the donation last summer.
The idea to fund the center came out of the Carter family's own personal experiences. Carter's brother has a history of battling addiction. At the time of the commitment, both Carter and his mother referenced his brother's problems, although not directly.
"If there's something we can do to help them get their lives back on track, that would be wonderful," Carter-Scott said, said of those who will be treated at the Sanctuary.
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Carter's younger brother, Christopher Allen Carter has struggled with arrests for possession of marijuana and cocaine and most recently with the intent to distribute.
While not specifically addressing his brother, Carter said at a press conference that substance abuse is "something near and dear to me..."We all have family that go through tough times," he said.
Half of the beds at the Sanctuary will be for indigent clients and the other half for people with insurance or other private funding. The Sanctuary will be operated by the Stewart Marchman Foundation, which already treats those with addiction problems.
Construction began this August in Bunnell without VC, but his mother was there shoveling dirt in a ground-breaking ceremony and noting the importance of the sanctuary to her sons. The first building to rise will be the Sanctuary's community center, name for Michelle Carter-Scott. The two residences will follow. The construction project to date is progressing on schedule with anticipated completion of Summer 2009.
Moreover, the University of Florida’s McKnight Brain Institute has announced will move their Addiction Medicine Public Health Research Group to the Vince Carter Sanctuary.