FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The location of a proposed addiction treatment center has drawn criticism from some people but it could be a good thing for a neighboring college.
Park Center wants to move a 100-bed facility into the old Verizon building at 2827 Rupp Drive. It is about a mile from Ivy Tech’s campus.
One of the programs offered at Ivy tech is Human Services. Kathryn Davis, program chair of Human Services, said many of the students who graduate from the program get jobs helping people with substance abuse and drug addiction.
It took 35 years for James Solliday to take the first step toward sobriety. He abused drugs and alcohol since he was 15-years old. At the age of 50, he realized something had to change.
“I turned 50 years-old and I started to reflect on the quality of my life,” said Solliday. “I never owned a home, I never had a vehicle, I was never in a successful relationship with another human being.”
He entered a substance abuse program, and it took some time, but he finally made progress.
“I was able to start stringing together sober days, and days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and months turned into years.”
Three years into sobriety Solliday enrolled in Ivy Tech’s Human Services program.
“We’re a profession of second chances,” said Kathyrn Davis. “These folks are learning that, ‘I can use what happened to me in the past and to move forward.'”
Stories like Solliday’s make Davis believe a drug abuse treatment facility near Ivy Tech will only benefit the area. According to Davis, many students who study Human Services problems have dealt with drug abuse in the past. She also said the new facility would be beneficial for students in need of internships.
“It gives our students yet another very well organized facility to go to, “she said. “Park Center hosts some of our students now and I’m confident that will be good for our students in the future as well.”
Davis said she is not concerned about safety in the area because the treatment centers are very strict.
“For the most part, I don’t believe that it will be any different than having an in-patient medical center,” she said.
“This is a win win, for the community, the school, and that facility.”
Solliday has been sober for 8 years. He is now happily married, he graduated from Ivy Tech second in his class with national honors. Now he’s working on his Bachelors of Psychology at Trine University and will soon become a Licensed Addiction Counselor.
“There is hope and your life will be better if you’re willing to do the work,” he said.