BELFAIR, Wash. — For kids, clubhouses are safe places to talk about comic books and sports.

Recover clubhouses are based on the same idea, but with a different goal, and are about to get an increase in state funding.

In the budget signed by Gov. Jay Inslee, (D) Washington, Tuesday, $7 million will go towards grant funding for recovery clubhouses, which are facilities to help those struggling with addiction or behavioral health issues.

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The clubhouses offer counseling from peers who are currently in recovery.

Rather than just arresting people, a volunteer named Jacob at Olympia's Capitol Recovery Center is glad the state is finding ways to help treat them.

"Getting someone clean is better than throwing them in a cell and saying, 'Here you go, go get clean.' It doesn't work," Jacob said.

Next week the Mason County town of Belfair gets its first clubhouse, thanks to state funding made available in 2021.

“It’s a place where people can come for fellowship,” said Belfair Community Clubhouse Executive Director Sean Wright.

Wright said he has been in recovery for nine years thanks to the support he got at a clubhouse.

He is eager to offer that help for the first time in rural Mason County.

“We were all suffering in silence, now we don’t suffer because we have a place to go,” said Wright.

According to the Washington State Health Care Authority, 44 clubhouse organizations in Washington receive state funds.

A spokesperson said it’s unclear how many more could open or expand with the newly approved state funding.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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