BZA approves two court-ordered rehab programs

Local News

Two court-ordered rehab programs have been approved by the city. Both Park Center and Shepherd’s House got court-ordered programs approved. Between them nearly 100 new beds will open up to treat addicts the courts send to their way.

Thirty beds at Park Center’s Carew Street Location, and about 40 beds at Shepherd’s House new location on Spy Run will soon be dedicated to people in the court system.

Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck said sometimes jail time isn’t enough.

“If a substance addiction is driving the criminal conduct then we need to treat the addiction,” Surbeck said.

The Board of Zoning Appeals granted approval for both the facilities to have court-ordered inpatient programs.

Park Center will add the beds to its already existing location. You may remember last summer, residents showed up by the dozens to the Board of Zoning Appeals to speak against a plan for a Park Center court-ordered program. The organization planned to buy a vacant building on Rupp Road to house the program. However, neighbors said they feared what kind of people it would bring to the area.

However, this time there was no opposition.

“This is in a location that has been used for treatment purposes for 40 years now,” Park Center President and CEO Paul Wilson said. “I think that’s obviously much more acceptable.”

Park Center already sees about 500 out-patient clients that are court-ordered a month.

Shepherd’s House already has an inpatient court-ordered program, but will be expanding the program into a new building.

The organization plans to buy the vacant YWCA building on Spy Run near its current location on Tennessee Avenue. Executive Director Lonnie Cox says the project will cost about $1 million. It will be paid mainly through state grants.

Last year Shepherd’s House almost closed because it didn’t receive a grant it very much depended on, but since Cox said the organization has flourished through fundraising efforts by the community.

For Cox and Wilson, seeing each other’s programs get approved is a win for the whole community.

“Somewhere around 100 additional beds is kind of the numbers we need,” Wilson said.

No recent violent offenders will be allowed in either program. 

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