GREENFIELD — Hancock County has made a second contribution toward Greenfield’s first addiction recovery house.
The county council recently voted to give $75,000 to help cover the home’s first year of operating expenses, bringing the running total given to the effort to $150,000.
In exchange for the contribution, organizers will reserve four of the 10 beds available at the home for Hancock County female inmates. Leaders will prioritize Hancock County women when filling the remaining beds.
Currently, Hancock County is home to only the Hickory House, an upscale private rehabilitation center that opened along U.S. 40 last summer.
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There are no halfway houses or other low-cost options, and nothing catering to just women.
At the end of last year, county leaders gave $75,000 to Friends of Recovery, the nonprofit leading the charge, to help complete construction of the home on Main Street.
About three years ago, Friends of Recovery started making plans to provide housing for people battling addiction, and in November 2016, the group took ownership of a house at 527 E. Main St. in Greenfield.
Group members have been renovating it since.
Now, leaders hope to open the home this summer. Over the weekend, volunteers helped install insulation as construction begins to wrap up.
The house will have room for eight to 10 women, who will stay a minimum of 90 days.
During that time, they’ll be required to attend alcoholics or narcotics anonymous meetings, form a partnership with a sponsor and attend therapy sessions aimed at treating the root of their addiction.
They’ll participate in life skills training and any other counseling they need, be it parenting classes or family counseling.
Leaders estimate operational costs for the first year will range from $75,000 to $80,000.
The county’s recent contribution will help fund expenses for the first year while leaders apply for grants to help offset future costs, said Linda Ostewig, Friends of Recovery’s leader.
Both contributions will make it possible for the recovery house to open this year, she said.
“You can see that the council and the councilmen see the need, and they see that people are hurting. People are dying,” she said. “We need programming. We need help.”
County councilman Randy Sorrell said the county’s contribution is a worthy way to spend tax dollars because the services the recovery house will provide are those many residents need.
A local defense attorney, Sorrell sees the impact opioids and other drugs have had on the county.
From 2014 to 2017, 50 people died of overdoses in Hancock County, coroner records show. Every year for the past three, overdoses killed as many people as car accidents, if not more, the records show.
Having a local, affordable option for recovery services will be beneficial to everyone, he said.
“It’s money we’d be spending anyway,” he said.