BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — A $200,000 renovation project will play a key role to help recovered drug addicts in the community.
According to Pastor James Sunnock of Victory Life Church in Battle Creek, five men would be selected to live in the new "Hope House." After a sobriety program, they would pay rent and find a job, and when they were ready to leave, the next person would fill in.
A new CDC report this week revealed a record year in drug overdoses. In Michigan alone, overdose deaths were up 16% from December 2019 to December 2020. The United States as a whole was up nearly 30%.
The “Hope House” project was a collaboration effort between Victory Life Church and Hood Church in Battle Creek.
Members of both churches said it was hard enough to beat addiction and then have to live on your own.
"There is one-year sobriety programs but then there is nothing for the men when they get out," Sunnock said. "They're expected to find rent and a job and expected to have life skills that led them to the problem to begin with. What the Hope House does, it gives these men an opportunity for the next step before they are fully independent."
Sunnock hoped the project would be finished by New Years Day 2022. Shortly after, they will select the five men who will live there.
The house was completely torn apart on the inside. Sunnock said it was symbolic of the people who would be living there.
After finishing their sobriety programs, he said, like the house, the men would be getting a second chance at life.
"This house was an abandoned house, and we bought it from the land bank for $20,000. It's getting completely renovated and repurposed. That really mirrors what's going to be happening with the men's lives in here. They're going to get a second chance and be restored,” said Sunnock.
Sunnock said the house will have regular checkups with the Hood Church. Members of the house will select a house leader to help each other get through a difficult time.