There is no break for those recovering from addiction; it is a constant process.
While the need to serve those individuals remains, Grant County nonprofit organization Hope House lost one of its major fundraising events this year when the Voices of Recovery festival was canceled due to COVID-19. This year’s Voices of Recovery event was originally scheduled for this past weekend.
The first few years, the festival helped to get Hope House off the ground, but this year was aimed to raise money to help the program take the next step, according to organization leaders. Hope House opened its first men’s and women’s homes for those with substance abuse issues in March, with another women’s home scheduled to open in October and plans for a second men’s home by the end of the year.
Organizers said there were ideas initially on how to salvage the event including doing the scheduled concerts virtually, but ultimately it was decided the event could not carry on in that capacity.
“So much of what Voices of Recovery is that it is an opportunity to come together to engage with the community and people who are recovering and people who are not recovering come together and know that we are all in this together,” Tia Brewer, director of the women’s house, said.
The event was scheduled in coordination with Indiana Wesleyan University, and last year drew more than 1,200 people. Being able to replace the event likely will not be possible this year, but Hope House is organizing a different event going forward to raise funds in place of Voices of Recovery.
Hope House Halloween will take place Oct. 17 at the 13-24 Drive-In in Wabash, with “The Goonies” and 2018 adaptation of “Halloween” scheduled to screen. Admission to the double feature is free, but Hope House will be gathering donations at the event.
The majority of people who join Hope House have either been incarcerated or have been involved in some form of residential treatment, and the organization is a 12-step based program, meaning the program is faith-based. There are structures and guidelines to the system that residents must meet to ensure they are progressing, and Hope House is partnered with the Bowen Center for treatment providers.
For Shane Beal, one of the co-founders of the organization, being able to see people take steps to getting their lives on track is the most rewarding part of the job.
“The most rewarding part is seeing people change their lives,” Beal said. “Seeing people reunited with their families, seeing people achieve a one year sobriety date, seeing people achieve employment. Really, it’s just seeing people change their lives and being able to have a front row seat to that.”
Brewer said her own experience with addiction and residential programs is translated into her work.
“I get the opportunity to see men and women experience and be given the opportunity to grow and heal like I was when I was in transitional housing myself. That’s part of my history, so I get to give back to them what was given to me,” Brewer said. “And God...saved my life, plain and simple.”
Despite Voices of Recovery’s cancellation, Brewer and Beal said people can still donate to the organization at hopehousemarion.org or through the Grant County Community Foundation.