KENDALLVILLE — A new recovery option for residents of Noble County will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at its 116 C.R. 22 location outside of Kendallville.
The meet-and-greet opportunity will allow the community to get to know staff.
The 24-bed home will serve as an intensive nine-month treatment facility, utilizing a faith-based, 12-step program model.
DeKalb County-based Inspiration Ministries, which already operates two facilities in that county with approximately 48 beds is operating the facility.
Inspiration Ministries became a registered 501©3 entity in March 2012.
It already touts an impressive level of success. According to the group, 80% of the men and women who enter into the program were not actively involved in the lives of their children and were not paying child support.
By the time they graduate from the program, 70% are paying child support and have become more active in the lives of their children.
A full 85% of new participants in the program do not have an active driver’s license, organizers say. By the time of graduation, 85% have gotten their license.
The program’s mantra, according to Don Harvey, chairman of the board of directors, is “To serve the least, the last and the lost.”
The group saw a need for addict housing in the Noble County area. Organizers say as a general rule, 10% of any given population group has a substance abuse problem. Of those, another 10% don’t have housing.
For a county like Noble with a population of 47,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, that means 4,700 people have some sort of substance abuse problem, and 470 of those people don’t have adequate housing, according to the group’s data.
“There’s definitely a need for more beds,” program supervisor Courtney Knerr said. “We’re hoping an additional 24 beds will make a dent.”
The property on C.R. 22 came up for sale last year, and the group was able to enter into a lease-to-own agreement with the property owner late last year.
Along with homes for nine-month treatment, the group offers an alumni house for those who have graduated from the program but still have a need for housing.
The key to the successes the program has already shown is due to the intensiveness of the interaction between staff and those in recovery.
Once operational, the facility on C.R. 22 will have two live-in house managers, a case manager to help the person pay fines, get their license back, find a job and other such necessities; and a pure recovery specialist. On any given day, there will be six to eight staff on hand.
Similar facilities struggle to put those kinds of resources into a recovery program.
Maury Brenneman, who is the director of operations, had worked for years with the Fort Wayne Rescue Missions. He said the intensiveness of the supervision sets the Inspiration Ministries program apart from similar efforts.
“It’s the constant contact with someone,” Brenneman said. “I attribute a lot of the success to that presence, the presence of God and the presence of other people.”
“It creates a culture and a camaraderie,” Harvey said.
The first 60 days in the program involve a “black out” period with no contact with the outside world and no cell phones. People are not charged for the first 30 days of the program, which serves the gamut of addictions from alcohol to methamphetamine to opioids.
According to Knerr, the vast majority of people who come into the program do so of their own free will, not due to a court order.
Alan Fanning, one of the house managers at the new location, has been through the program.
“A friend of mine knew about this program… and brought me here,” Fanning said. “I knew I needed it. I knew it was time to surrender.”
Inspiration Ministries would like to see the home open by April, but won’t rush it.
“If it goes into May, we’re OK with that,” Knerr said. “We want to be fully prepared and staffed.”
Inspiration Ministries gets its funding from individual donations, area church support and grants.
Anyone interested in donating to the cause can visit inspiration-ministries.org or send cash or check to 138 E. Seventh Street, Auburn, IN, 46706.
People can also learn more at the Feb. 18 open house.
Expect to see a fired-up staff.
“It’s so exciting to be a part of this,” Harvey said.