Plan for shelter gaining support

GREENFIELD — Advocates for a halfway house to help residents recovering from drug and alcohol addiction are ramping up fundraising efforts in hopes of opening the facility this year.

The Talitha Koum Women’s Recovery House, a home designed to help women battling addiction safely transition back to productive lives, would be the first of its kind in Hancock County.

So far, Friends of Recovery, the Greenfield-based nonprofit overseeing the project, has raised about $20,000 in donations from several community organizations, including both Greenfield Rotary clubs, NineStar Connect and a fall fundraiser.

That’s provided enough funding to hire an architect to design the layout of the interior of the home at 527 E. Main Street in Greenfield, which was donated to kickstart the project last year. The home will feature a large common area on the main floor, a laundry facility, a space for group meetings and counseling, along with four bedrooms and two bathrooms on the second level.

Linda Ostewig, director of The Landing, a faith-based safe haven for students between ages 13 and 18, is leading efforts to outfit the four-bedroom home with furniture, kitchenware and other furnishings. Once completed, the facility will house up 10 women at a time, all of whom will regularly attend in-house counseling and 12-step recovery programs.

Residents, who will be charged for services on a sliding fee scale, will be able to choose from a faith-based 12-step recovery program or a traditional 12-step program, Ostewig said.

Ostewig estimates supporters need to raise $250,000 to complete construction and cover the first year of operational expenses, which includes salaries for staff members. Ostewig recognizes that’s a hefty sum but said she believes there’s sufficient community support for the project, which she also plans to support through grants and fundraisers.

Amy Ikerd, a prevention specialist for the Hancock County Probation Department, said there’s a substantial demand for a transitional facility for residents fighting addiction.

Many of the nearest facilities, most of which lie in downtown Indianapolis, have lengthy waiting lists, Ikerd said.

But the risk of relapse runs high during the first few weeks of recovery, and when individuals struggling with addiction are seeking transitional housing, a month-long wait is problematic, Ikerd said.

“When your motivation is the highest, that’s when we want to get people into those programs,” she said.

Ostewig was moved to create such a program after witnessing her daughter’s own battle with alcoholism, which lasted more than a decade.

There were many ups and downs throughout those years, Ostewig said, as her daughter, Kara Cole, cycled in and out of several rehabilitation programs.

Cole, 31, now three and a half years sober, said she knows many who have had the same struggles as her, some of whom died from drug overdoses while seeking help.

Ostewig plans to act as the home’s executive director, and a house manager will run the facility during the week. Part-time residential assistants will manage the home on nights and weekends.

After 30 days of counseling, residents will need to begin seeking full-time work, Ostewig said, adding that family members will be able to visit the facility regularly.

In coming months, Ostewig plans to find partner organizations to help provide mental health and wellness services for future residents.

The organization will hold a fundraiser at 7 p.m., April 26 at Adaggio’s Banquet Hall, 5999 Memory Lane, Greenfield.

The event will be free for guests, and funds will be raised through corporate sponsorships. For more information about the event, contact Ikerd at aikerd@hancock coingov.org.

At a glance

Who: Talitha Koum Recovery House Fundraiser

What: coffee and dessert with several guest speakers; Entrance is free, but donations are sought through corporate sponsorships.

  • $250: Company name will be listed in the event program.
  • $500: Company name will be listed in event program, and company logo will be displayed on table.
  • $1,000: All of the above, and company will be promoted during event presentation.

When: 7 p.m. April 26; Email RSVP to Amy Ikerd at aikerd@hancockcoingov.org, or by calling 317-477-1135 ext. 2247.

Where: Adaggio’s Banquet Hall and Conference Center, 5999 W. Memory Lane.

Can’t make it?: Mail donations to Talitha Koum, P.O. Box 566, Greenfield, Indiana, 46140, or donate online through PayPal to friendsofrecovery15@gmail.com.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.