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'We’re done with the excuses'

By KARLEE STEFFANNI • Updated Oct 6, 2017 at 1:46 AM

“We are not going to stand for one more overdose or overdose death in Huron County,” said Denny Wilson.

Wilson is founder, president and CEO of a widely recognized recovery support services organization known as F I Community Housing.

Wednesday evening at Norwalk High School, Wilson addressed key members of the community at a meeting hosted by his organization along with the Huron County Commissioners, Mental Health and Addiction Services Board and Fisher-Titus Medical Center.

The topic? Death by addiction: A call to action.

Community leaders were invited to discuss the addiction epidemic that is plaguing the nation, as well as the county. It opened with a showing of the documentary “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict,” which was largely educational, offering statistics as well as first-hand, emotional accounts of addiction and the power it has over those who are affected by it.

Local resident, Amanda Morrow shared her personal story of addiction and the road to recovery. 

The next portion of the event shed light on some specific programs and initiatives that are being taken to fight this issue, and more importantly — what the rest of the community can do to help.

“We need your help, your involvement,” Boose said. “Tell us how we can help and we’re going to try to make it happen.”

“We’re done with the excuses,” he added. 

Boose admitted that in the past, not enough has been done in terms of prevention. He also admitted that Huron County previously hasn’t had the resources for those seeking treatment from the grips of addiction.

“We’ve got some people helping us now,” he said.

This led Boose to introduce a new partnership with Wilson and F I Community Housing, who is currently working to open a peer-to-peer recovery center on Shady Lane.

Boose referred to the group as “a combination of angels and heroes.” The city of Norwalk and Huron County entered into an official partnership and agreement with the organization on Oct. 1.

Wilson said the success of the peer recovery center depends on the help of the community.

“It takes a village to raise individuals,” he said.

He also said the community can help in a variety of ways, whether it’s by donating time, money or furniture.

Wilson seemed optimistic about what the organization could accomplish here, along with the help of the community. 

“Never before have I witnessed the coming together like I have in the last two to three months working with the people of Huron County and the city of Norwalk.

Other notable projects include the House of Hope, a men’s sober living facility funded by the MHAS board and set to open in Willard at the end of the month. It will be operated by local organization, Starting Piont Outreach Center and is the first recovery facility for men in the county. 

Some key speakers included coroner Jeffrey Harwood, commissioner Terry Boose, MHAS assistant director Jennifer Prince and F I Community Housing’s Michael Pack.

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