HANCOCK COUNTY — Substance abuse counseling. A climate-control system for a new halfway house. A program that helps fund treatment for heroin addicts.
These causes received thousands of dollars of funding recently from the Hancock County Community Foundation, helping to keep the programs afloat or bringing proposed efforts closer to reality.
The foundation’s summer grant cycle awarded more than $101,000 to 22 local nonprofit organizations ranging from public safety organizations to animal shelters; and some of the most sizeable donations went toward efforts in the community to fight substance abuse and addiction.
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For its summer grant cycle, the community foundation — a nonprofit public charity that gives grants and scholarships and helps donors establish long-term charitable giving plans — asked applicants to request support for capital improvement efforts or programming needs.
Nearly a quarter of the funding this year, about $25,000, went toward three organizations working to encourage recovery in the face of drug and alcohol addiction and provide assistance to those suffering from substance abuse: Families First, Friends of Recovery and Mental Health Partners of Hancock County.
While each organization provides a different service to the community, together, their missions aid the battle against drug addiction, said Kara Harrison, Hancock County Community Foundation grants officer.
“There’s a need in our community, and we’re happy to be able to support those organizations,” Harrison said. “There are lots of wonderful organizations doing great work.”
Friends of Recovery Inc., based in Greenfield, works to help people recovering from alcohol and substance abuse. One of its main goals is to help provide supportive housing for people in recovery.
With that aim in mind, an ongoing effort to open a halfway house for women recovering from addiction is underway at 527 E. Main St. This house, named the Talitha Koum Women’s Recovery House, will offer housing for eight to 10 women working to return to a drug-free life, said Linda Ostewig, Friends of Recovery director.
The name of the facility is based on a Bible story in which Jesus takes the hand of a girl who is dead, saying, “Little girl, rise up!” — or “Talitha koum!” in Hebrew.
The community foundation awarded Friends of Recovery $12,500 for a heating and cooling system in the house, on which Ostewig hopes renovations will begin in November. Organizers are currently in the process of having ownership of the house, which was donated, transferred to Friends of Recovery, she said.
Securing the estimated $250,000 to finish construction and fund the first year of operating expenses has been a challenge.
That’s why officials breathed a sigh of relief when they were notified their grant application had been approved.
“We were so grateful,” Ostewig said. “Another piece of the puzzle fell into place toward seeing the house be complete. We’re looking forward to starting the project and seeing women funneled there.”
Ostewig expects for Friends of Recovery to take referrals from the county’s judges and work-release officials when determining who will live in the recovery home.
Families First Indiana Inc. also takes referrals from the county’s probation department and the Indiana Department of Child Services for its drug and alcohol addiction counseling services.
The organization, the oldest social service nonprofit in Indiana, is one of a handful in the state offering counseling services on a sliding scale, with the cost adjusted based on the client’s insurance and income. Families First provides psychological assessments, in- and out-patient therapy groups and a relapse prevention aftercare group, said Michelle Gwaltney, Families First chief operating officer.
Families First received $7,000 from the foundation to help offset the costs of its outpatient counseling, making the treatment more affordable for those who might struggle to pay, Gwaltney said.
Eliminating barriers for addicts who are willing to go through treatment program — including the ability to pay — is a goal many local social service agencies share, Harrison said.
The community foundation sought to support those efforts during the grant cycle, she said.
Mental Health Partners of Hancock County, which directs those suffering from substance abuse and other mental health issues toward area resources, received $5,000 toward its Behavior Care Assistance Program.
The program pays for the first two weeks of an offender’s 90-day treatment program and helps participants find a job to pay the remaining cost, said Kim Hall, Mental Health Partners executive director.
Mental Health Partners works in partnership with the Hancock County Probation Department and Hancock Circuit Court Judge Richard Culver to identify candidates for the program, Hall said. The program, which began in January, has served 23 clients so far this year, Hall said.
“If people can get help and lead a successful life, rather than be in jail,” Hall said, “that’s better for everyone.”
Twenty-two organizations received more than $101,000 in grants through Hancock County Community Foundation’s summer grant cycle. Here’s a look at the beneficiaries and how they plan to spend their grant dollars.
- Alternatives Inc. of Madison County; $1,750, Hancock County teen dating violence prevention program
- Community Outreach For Financial Education; $800, computer
- Dani’s Dreams Innovation in Education Corp.; $4,100, educational trail signs for Sugar Creek Township Park
- Families First Indiana Inc.; $7,000, scholarships for substance abuse counseling in Hancock County
- Frenzy Animal Rescue Inc.; $10,000, spay, neuter and medical program
- Friends of Recovery; $12,900, heating and cooling system for Talitha Koum Women’s Recovery House
- Families United for Support and Encouragement; $2,300, Destiny Color Guard program
- Greenfield Main Street; $2,500, event tent and sound system
- Leaders in Navigating Knowledge; $1,827, computer and software
- Hancock County 4-H Youth Agricultural Association; $5,000, exhibit hall heating and cooling unit
- Hancock County Children’s Choir; $2,220, storage equipment
- Hancock County Humane Society; $10,000, cat cages
- Hancock Hope House Inc.; $4,112, computers
- KidsPlay Inc. Children’s Theatre; $2,645, copy machine
- Love in the Name of Christ; $5,000, ramp ministry
- Mental Health Partners of Hancock County; $5,000, ramp ministry
- Nameless Creek Youth Camp; $8,500, drywall for new lodge
- Prevent Child Abuse Hancock County (Hancock 4 Kids); $4,450, education and awareness activities
- Shirley Volunteer Fire Department; $6,250, backup generator
- The Salvation Army; $1,610, Hancock County emergency assistance program
- Women’s Resource Center; $1,200, computer
- Hancock County Purdue Extension; $2,500, Kindergarten 101 program