Hope Restored article WKVI 8-22-2018

By: Jacque Ryan

This article written by

Jacque Ryan on August 22, 2018

and appears on the WKVI website you can see the original article by clicking here.

Some inspirational individuals impacted by drug addiction came before the North Judson Town Council this week to discuss the steps they’re taking to bring a sober living home into the community.

A building at the corner of Sycamore and Lane Streets in North Judson is currently being transformed into the ‘Hope Restored’ rehabilitation center and living facility.

Recovered addict Zach Howisen shared that while he was incarcerated on drug-related charges, he felt compelled to change his ways and wanted to do something to give back to the community.

He shared, “I want to help people, I want to make a difference, I want to save one person, two people, a thousand people; I don’t care. I just want to be able to help people move forward.”

He mentioned that he has lost several friends to overdoses and said he knows that is something everyone in this community has an unfortunate familiarity with. Howisen said he wants to play a role in addressing this obvious problem by letting people with substance abuse disorders know that there are people who care about them and want to help them.

Howisen said when he was released from the Starke County Justice Center, he began attending the English Lake Church and with the assistance of the people he regards as his new-found family, the process of starting the ‘Hope Restored’ program began.

At Monday’s meeting, Howisen was joined by Megan Johnston. She said also struggled with drug addiction in the past and she now works for a recovery community center in Valparaiso. She explained the Hope Restored program would be limited to males and they would be able to accept eight different applicants initially. It would be primarily funded by community donations, grants and participant contributions.

They’re still ironing out all the details but Johnston explained that the plan is to provide a safe, alcohol and drug-free place to stay while participants go through a 90 to 180-day program that would teach life skills and financial responsibility.

The first 30 days would be focused on rebuilding a positive self-image and getting the individuals involved in volunteer work. After that, the participants would seek out employment opportunities.

One of the key elements of this program will be creating positive community and business connections with people who recognize the importance of helping people in recovery get back on their feet.

The Town Hall was packed with people in support of the idea and the town council stated they were on board with the efforts as well. Program officials have also been coordinating with representatives from community corrections and the probation department who are behind the plan.

For those looking to learn more about Hope Restored, there will be a presentation about the organization at English Lake Church at 9 a.m. on Sunday, August 26th.If you’re interested in helping with renovations to the Hope Restored building they hold work days where volunteers are welcome to pitch in. The next one will take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday, September 1st.

Their presentation from Monday’s Town Council meeting will also be the focus of this week’s Kankakee Valley Viewpoints Program, airing this Sunday at noon on K99.3 WKVI.

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