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James Allen steps down from ARC after 56 years

Olayemi Odesanya | 4/11/2014, 6:36 p.m.

The Addicts Rehabilitation Center (ARC) has announced the retirement of James Allen as executive director after over 50 years of commitment and sincere servitude with the organization and the New York City community. Allen joined the Manhattan Reformed Christian Church as he was fighting his own heroin addiction in 1957. It was there that he heard the Rev. Eugene Callender announce his intention to start a rehabilitation program, and Allen decided he would volunteer.

“I was called to ARC from the pulpit,” said Allen. “I have been blessed to spend the greater part of my life serving God through serving others.” During the course of his 50-plus year career, ARC has served thousands of people, built six new constructions and renovated four buildings. “ARC is in my blood,” said Allen, “and I have left it in good hands.”

In partnership with the ARC Foundation, Allen built over 900 units of affordable housing. ARC is now firmly in the hands of the Rev. Reggie Williams, ARC’s new president and CEO.

“Mr. Allen has provided us with a lasting example through his steadfast commitment and service to humanity. He leaves us with a rich heritage in which we are all very proud,” said Williams. “He went from an addict to executive director and has been a constant guiding light in my life since a fateful meeting many years ago.”

ARC will be hosting a retirement gala to honor Allen and his numerous contributions to the community this fall.