James Allen, executive director of The Addicts Rehabilitation Center for over half a century, has passed.

As he sought support in conquering his heroin addiction in 1957, Allen built alliances with the Rev. Eugene Callender from the Manhattan Reformed Christian Church and offered his assistance after hearing Callender announce his intention to start a rehabilitation program.

“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 buildings that produced over 900 units of affordable housing and renovated four buildings. “ARC is in my blood, and I have left it in good hands,” Allen proudly stated.

The ARC is one of the oldest, largest and most successful intensive residential drug-free programs in New York. It serves the chronically homeless, the mentally impaired, people living with HIV/AIDS, veterans and over 1,000 people with special needs. The ARC has been serving people in the Harlem community for 56 years and is one of the few independently operated rehabilitation facilities that addresses the whole person by acknowledging how the intersection of race, poverty and addiction will affect program participants upon leaving the facility.