Halfway house approved in New Albany

Halfway house moving forward in New Albany

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) – Celebrations after months of planning.

“I just can't believe it.  I'm just so excited because there's so many women that needs help,” Lisa Livngston, an organizer said.

New Albany's zoning committee approved a new halfway house for women recovering from addiction.  The building on Spring Street will be called the Breakaway but some in the neighborhood fought back tonight.

“I've been picking up needles along my fence line and we know for a fact there's three drug houses on that street and I think it would be bad to put it there,” said one neighbor.

The needles aren't the only concerns from critics. Vickie Whittinghill owns a salon next door to the proposed halfway house. She says it could put her client's in danger and fears for their safety.

"I'm sorry, but we know theft goes along with this problem, but I'd hate to see one of my elderly customers get knocked down for a purse,” Whittinghill said.

But supporters feel much differently.  Several recovering addicts say there is an unfortunate demand - but the project could save lives.

"Without something like this, I would not have the life I have today. It's saved my life and we really want to save the lives of many women out there who are losing to this battle of addiction,” a supporter said.

"We are not bad people. We make bad choices. But without somebody showing a new way of living, it will never change," another supporter said.

The zoning committee ended up siding with those in favor of the Breakaway – a move applauded by those who've worked on making this a reality.

The zoning committee added some conditions, including requiring 24 hour supervision and limiting visiting hours for guests.

The Breakaway could open sometime in May.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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