VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– At one point, the the Knox County Public Library’s Bloebaum-Fuller annex building was in danger of being demolished.
But throughout 2022, thanks to a number of organizations throughout the county– particularly the library, Good Samaritan Hospital and Children and Family services– it’s now set to open with a new name and a new purpose.
The Margaret Compton Recovery Hub is a collaborative project meant to help provide a variety of services for people in need. McKenzie Young, a community-based prevention specialist, said she believes it will serve as a connection point to numerous resources around the area.
“I think one of the biggest barriers in Knox County is there’s a lack of public transportation,” Young said. “A lot of the problems in Knox County is, ‘Well, you need to go here. If that doesn’t work, you have to go here. If that doesn’t work, you have to go to this other building.’ With no transportation and limited resources, that can be very cumbersome to people that are in crisis.”
Young said she hopes the center can be a place where people can go whether they need help with substance abuse disorder, food insecurity or any other problem. The plan is also to have peer recovery specialists work in the building.
Peer recovery specialists are people who have lived experiences with a disorder, either through themselves or a family member. Brock Lough, the executive director for behavioral health services for Good Samaritan, said the practice has been on the rise the past few years– as need has increased as well.
“Unfortunately in our world today, the need for services is increasing more and more,” Lough said. “There’s no shortage of people who need help, in mental health as well as substance use disorder.”
Officials want the building to be accessible– meaning it doesn’t matter at what point you are in recovery, they will offer assistance. Laura Jimenez, the project manager for the State Opioid Response Grant that is helping fund the project, said they also want to provide a number of support meetings for specific recovery groups.
“We just want to help people find a safe place to work on their recovery, and if they have questions or if they need help with something, they can come here to get those answers,” Jimenez said.
Young said she thinks of it more as a case management center– where people get can what they need when they arrive.
“If you want to get into a recovery program, the peer recovery specialists that work at Good Samaritan are perfectly capable of doing that for you. If you need to find a sober living facility or a place to live while you’re in recovery, they can help you do that,” Young said. “If you just need basic needs, like a box of food from a food pantry or you need help with one of your utilities or you need a housing voucher, they can help you do all of those things. We want people to come here and just be themselves. No stigma, no judgment, and they can find camaraderie and services,”
The goal is to open by late March. Right now, staff is in the process of getting furniture for the building– and also decorating it. The recovery hub will host a series of “paint days” in the coming weeks where community members can create art that can be hung on the walls.