After battling years of addiction, the task of getting back on your feet can be daunting.

Dennis Powell, who graduated from Muncie Mission’s recovery program eight years ago, said it was important to have a safety net while recovering. 

Now, the charity that gave him a second chance is offering that net through secure housing. 

Muncie Mission opened its first transitional house for men who graduated from its recovery program Jan. 10.

“It offers a safety net for those who are preparing to go back into society,” Powell said. “It’s a good way to start off. It lets helps residents be attached to what’s going.” 

Executive director Frank Baldwin chose Powell, who now works for the organization, to live in the first home.

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“The idea was to provide housing and to provide supportive care for qualified graduates of the Muncie Mission program,” Baldwin said. “The stresses of life, associated with paying your rent on time, paying your utilities on time and preparing a meal would affect them. Before long they would lose their apartment, they would lose their job and be right back in the Mission.”

The transitional program is in its second year and helps residents reintegrate into society, Baldwin said.

“We are walking side-by-side with them as they reintegrate back into society,” Baldwin said. “They have their own independent housing but they have the support of Muncie Mission.”

Muncie Mission supports the residents with three required classes while living in the houses. The classes cover financial literacy, nutrition and meal preparation and “soft skills” like conflict communication and maintaining appearances.

Before the residents were able to live there, Baldwin said they had to completely renovate the homes.

“The house we just renovated was in pretty rough shape,” Baldwin said. “We took everything down to the studs, the framing, and rebuilt the home.”

The organization will open up seven more residencies in May. Plans are in the works to build eight more houses and some will designed by a Ball State immersive learning class.

Janet Fick, instructor of construction management, said this is the class’s first collaboration with Muncie Mission.

“It is really such a good feeling to know that there will be people living in these homes that the students designed. It’s beneficial to know just how much we are helping Muncie Mission,” Fick said. “It really makes you feel like you are contributing back to your community.”

Fick said the class is designing duplexes that will blend in with the neighborhood. 

Contact Liz Rieth with comments at ejrieth@bsu.edu or on Twitter at @liz_rieth.