Local addiction center expands program thanks to community's help

A local addiction recovery program can now help 24 more men, after raising more than $600,000. (WCCU)

A local addiction recovery program can now help 24 more men, after raising more than $600,000—and almost half that money came from local businesses.

Lifeline Connect in Urbana has been around for more than a decade, helping more than 80 men get back on their feet. Now, with the new money raised, they can build another home and help even more people battling addiction.

For Brenton Kilbourne, he came all the way from Florida after losing almost everything and becoming addicted to heroin and crack cocaine.

“I just wanted freedom because I was just stuck in depression and hopelessness. I really thought I was going to die," said Kilbourne, who is a current resident.

Brett Bixeman knows that feeling all too well. Addiction is something his brother still suffers with and has handicapped his sister.

“I didn't see a way out and so my pastor told me about this program," said Bixeman, who is a current resident.

That program was Lifeline Connect, a one-year faith based program in Urbana that currently houses six men.

“And my life has never been the same since," Bixeman added.

Pastor Kevin Brown is so touched by the community's help, saying it will help the community in return.

“There can a burier there, so when I see this happening, it is like that burier is being torn down and they want to become part of the solution," Brown said.

That includes Lanz Heating & Cooling that has hired about eight graduates from the program.

“It takes a while for them to build that trust back up, but to see them come in and flourish has been an amazing journey," said Owner and CEO Troy Lanz.

Sherry Steigmann opens her yard to the residents to do yard work and the money she pays them, goes directly back into the program.

“The men that have come to my home are polite, well-spoken, want to learn, and do everything with a smile," she said.

For Joey Trujillo, this program has meant the world to him.

After losing custody of his kids before graduating from the program, he now gets to tuck in his two little girls at night and attend his son's baseball games.

“Moments like that—you know addiction almost robbed me of that,” Trujillo said. “This program just gave me, gave me something to live for."

And now, with more participants coming in, these graduates hope to be a role model for them.

The official groundbreaking for the new building is August 16 and the construction of it will wrap up by next spring. For more information about the groundbreaking or the program visit their website.

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