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Serentity House being sought for city

January 25, 2012

Proposed site for Serenity House (Photo by Jannaya Andrews)

    Jerry Setser, Barry Humble and Community Corrections officer Ian Gilbert stood as representatives of Serenity House Inc. last week to ask the board of Adams County commissioners for help in funding a proposed Serenity House.
    In making their plea to commissioners, the trio touted the need for a recovery house in the county. "Alcohol and drug problems don't stop with a jail sentence," said Humble.
    According to Gilbert, having a Serenity House in the county would provide judges the opportunity to sentence those facing alcohol- and drug-related charges to a recovery program rather than incarceration, potentially saving the county more than $120,000 a year. Gilbert estimated approximately 50-60 percent of cases are drug or alcohol related.
    Humble said the Serenity House, which is headquartered in Auburn, would provide trained staff to oversee the recovery of residents.
    The Serenity program requires residents to attend 90 meetings of either Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous in 90 days, provides life skills training, discipline and 24 hour supervision.
    Setser said the minimum stay is nine months, with 80 percent of those who graduate the program remaining drug and alcohol free four years after treatment.
    Humble said supporters of the program are not asking for more money to be spent by the county, but that commissioners reallocate funds that would normally be used to house inmates.
    While the commissioners agreed there is a need for a recovery house in Adams County, they requested the group return when more information is available regarding exactly how much funding would be needed by the county.
    The proposed site for the Serenity House is on First Street in Decatur, next to First Merchant's Bank.

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