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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Fire Marshal orders facility to shut down

Thursday, January 6, 2011

House of Hope, 5525 W. United States 40, Brazil, was recently ordered by The Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office to close its facility by Feb. 4. [Order this photo]
On Feb. 4, all occupants of the House of Hope, 5525 W. United States 40, Brazil, will not be allowed to maintain residence at the facility.

In December, the Indiana State Fire Marshal's office conducted two inspections and found the building was not in compliance with state code.

On Tuesday, the office posted an Emergency Notice on the front door of the building declaring it not in compliance with code.

House of Hope Assistant Director Brian Rosano told The Brazil Times the inspections were conducted after a former resident contacted the state.

"(The resident) lodged a complaint with the state," Rosano said.

House of Hope Director Pete LaTrenta was unavailable to comment on the situation.

House of Hope purchased the property in 1999 and was given occupancy by the City of Brazil. While the organization considers itself a church, the state sees it differently.

Rosano said the state sees the center as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, which Rosano said is only a part of its mission, referring to it as a Bible mission program.

However, he added after the organization was given the right to occupy its current facility, the process of reclassifying never took place.

"It wasn't properly done," Rosano said.

As a result, inspection findings found several items not currently up to state code, including the building fire safety system (an alarm system, handicap exits, sprinkler system, etc.).

Rosano said there are also electrical and plumbing issues, among other items.

"We need an overhaul of the building, more or less," Rosano said.

Indiana State Fire Marshal's office public information officer Emily Norcross confirmed the February closure, saying there were "six reasons" for the emergency order.

She added that until Feb. 3, a certified Indiana firefighter would have to be on the grounds.

"That's really a last resort," Norcross said.

Norcross added all persons will be "required to leave," the building Feb. 4, and be prohibited from entering it.

House of Hope is a faith ministry affiliated with Mission Teens, Inc., based in New Jersey. The organization was founded by Rev. James D. Bracken in 1969 and currently has 15 programs across the country.

Currently, Rosano said there are 35 residents occupying the building from various counties in Indiana -- including Clay -- and other states.

Resident directors met with them Wednesday to explain the situation.

Resident Director Ken Williams said they told them three facilities in Arkansas, Tennessee and Michigan have space available if the residents chose to relocate there.

Otherwise, many will have to return to their homes. Williams added approximately 30 percent of the residents stay at the facility via court mandate. Some of them, he said, may have to go back to jail.

"It's not like they're going to be put out on the streets with nowhere to go," Williams said. "We plan on making the repairs."

"It's scary for them," Rosano said. "This just got dropped into their lap."

Rosano said on Feb. 4, the state would re-classify the building as a multi-family dwelling that can house 10 associates.

Norcross confirmed the fire marshal's office and House of Hope have agreed to the proposed reclassification.

"Both the fire marshal and the building owners have," she said.

Rosano said they have been in contact with officials to get estimates on the cost of the repairs and have already started sending out information to donors for money.

While he said the facility has already received thousands of dollars in donations, hundreds of thousands will more than likely be needed and repairs may take months.

"We just started this week," Rosano said. "We have had some pretty substantial contributions from word of mouth."

He added the organization has no intentions of leaving its current facility, though that possibility was discussed.

"We're determined to stay in this location," Rosano said. "We are not going to close the building Feb. 4. Ten staff members will live here, serving the community.

"The program is closing. We're going to work to fix this problem. We are committed to this area. We have a network of more than 10,000 supporters."

Rosano said the organization would be applying for various grants and variances in the future while undertaking fundraising efforts.

"We want to find out what we need to do," he said. "But we need time and the resources to do it."

"This has been a good program," Williams added. "We've had more than a thousand people come through these doors. We feel confident everything will be OK."

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From a real behind the scenes look, this ministry is about rescue. There are at least 2 from Clay Co there. They have been on the loosing end of addiction for years and this ministry is helping the climb out or that pit. If you have never been there, you will be surprised at the work that they do. Please donate today. Thank you,

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Thu, Jan 6, 2011, at 8:29 PM

"(The resident) lodged a complaint with the state," Rosano said.

Obviously filed by someone who was asked to leave for not following rules... just sayin',

-- Posted by Dagnabbitt on Thu, Jan 6, 2011, at 9:07 PM

Dagnabitt: I think you are right, but it is what it is. Water under the bridge. The CHRISTians of this community need to unite across the names above their doors and save this ministry.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Fri, Jan 7, 2011, at 6:29 AM

Conservative Dad - I absolutely agree with you! We need to support them in their time of need just as they support and minister to the men and women that need help to overcome addictions. This is a wonderful, Holy Bible centered ministry.

-- Posted by just thinking on Fri, Jan 7, 2011, at 8:17 AM

I agree. It's just that bureaucratic stuff gets to me. My wife and I support the home and contributed bi-weekly from my paycheck.

I do pray that enough of us will help get this fine program up and running again.

God will provide.

-- Posted by Dagnabbitt on Fri, Jan 7, 2011, at 8:26 AM

Dagnabbit: Did it ever occur to you that perhaps it was a former resident that was concerned about the safety of others?

-- Posted by Hodgepodge on Fri, Jan 7, 2011, at 8:28 AM

I'll admit aggrevation that any entity would cause difficulty for this great progrem. There always seems to be a difference between safe enough to use and "safe" according to someone elses handbook. My guess is that the staff spent their time working with residents and not on the thousands of building code rules.

-- Posted by brazilian on Fri, Jan 7, 2011, at 10:03 AM

I have never visited the House of Hope but have heard how wonderful it is. I will be praying for this group and asking others to do so as well.

-- Posted by indianamama on Fri, Jan 7, 2011, at 4:12 PM

Hodgepodge: I understand, but we are talking about rescuing. Conversely, they have rescued hundreds of lives. www.missionteens.com is the main ministry. Pete came to town and started this from scratch. NO ONE is getting rich (worldly rich) from their association with this ministry. But addicts lives are being rescued.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Fri, Jan 7, 2011, at 5:31 PM

This is a ministry that provides a valuable service to the community, to the Judicial system, and to the Body of Our Lord. As Christians, we must come together to help support this ministry. The way that I'm looking at it, there are several needs to resolve this situation:

1. Construction workers, contractors, electricians, etc who would be willing to donate their time and materials to helping them meet the elevated code levels.

2. Prayer. Prayer changes things, and this problem is no problem for the God that feeds and clothes these people who are precious to Him.

3. Political influence at the state and local level to provide the time needed to allow this vital mission to continue, to upgrade their facility, and to insure that their code status is not being unduly elevated.

4. Money and donations. The House Of Hope subsists solely on faith in the Lord who provides. Since it opened, the Lord has not failed to provide. The Lord is never too late in his provision, and you are His hands. How can you help, and what can you donate?

-- Posted by Medbob on Fri, Jan 7, 2011, at 6:44 PM

I just want to say that several years ago, my aunt was on her way back to Terre Haute and thought she was having a stroke. The men from House of Hope called me and stayed with her until I arrived.

Regardless of what the reason they are there, they were very concerned and caring. No one deserves funding more than House of Hope. They are there for each other and others as well.

Thank you

-- Posted by dbltrbl on Fri, Jan 7, 2011, at 7:00 PM

Too bad theres not a good baritone there with a great radio voice. Just kidding. I really do hate to see this happening. I think the House of Hope does wonderful work. Do they have a dollar figure of what they need to bring it up to code? Possibly, if you could get the materials some local contractors could assist with labor.Maybe some of the drug and alcohol funds that are collected from the courts should go to assist with this instead of in Steve Sutherlins pocket. They do a lot better at rehab than he does.

-- Posted by lifehasitsmoments on Fri, Jan 7, 2011, at 9:41 PM

Wonder if they are a candidate for the pepsi grant?

-- Posted by lifehasitsmoments on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 3:11 PM

The figure that I heard was in excess of 30K. The biggest thing was a fire suppression system (sprinklers).

Glad to see all the post are positive. That is how this ministry operates. All positive. Romans 8:28.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 5:19 PM

Jim Baird (Indiana 44) made a visit today (Saturday) to see first hand what the situation was. Hopefully he will be able to help them buy some time.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 10:09 PM

My daughter went though the program, I can't say that I agree with everything they do. But I will say that it is a goog program. My daughter has been out for over a year now,she is doing great!I feel if we had not found the house of hope my daughter might not be with us today! When I stated that I might not agree with everything,I am sure there is no place I would agree with. Lets all pull togather and help the house of hope!

-- Posted by mamawfolck on Sun, Jan 9, 2011, at 12:51 PM

The house of hope gave our family back our daughter. I am so proud of her.It is a stuff program,but their is also alot of love there. They have a very high success rate!

-- Posted by mamawfolck on Sun, Jan 9, 2011, at 12:55 PM

I had a discussion to day with one of the board members and they have an architect working on it but they have not come up with a dollar figure yet. But don't let that stop you. I went out today and had collected almost $300 to donate. Please write the check TODAY.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Sun, Jan 9, 2011, at 6:20 PM

I am a walking testimony of God's good grave and abounding love. In 2008 I was arrested twice in two months for methamphetamines. I had been an addict for 10 years and couldn't imagine surviving one hour without it much less a whole day. All 4 of my children had moved out to family and friends, I lost my nursing license, car and home. Facing 6 years in prison and scared I gave my life to Christ. I went through the 8-10 month program at the House of Hope, there they introduced me to my best friend, Jesus Christ. Today, only by the grace of God I have been free from drugs for over 2 years. I am a volunteer at my church, I counsel meth addicts and abuse victims. I glean clothing, food and necessities to those who can't afford them. All through His guidance and for His glory and honor. Every day the House of Hope brings hope to people who cant see the light through all the darkness. Ask any member of my family and friends, the House of Hope through the love and grace of God saved my life.

-- Posted by eldridge_ann on Sun, Jan 9, 2011, at 7:53 PM

Praise God for your deliverance and your faith in Christ. eldridge_ann. Your story is only one of probably thousands. As a former prison chaplain I have seen just about every rehab program imaginable, and tell you what most of you already know... only the gospel of the Lord Jesus can give victory... and HOH is head and shoulders, hips and feet above the rest!

What ever it takes to keep HOH, by God's grace, let's make it happen.

-- Posted by o2beholy on Mon, Jan 10, 2011, at 8:36 AM

I've had 2 family members enter into this "House of Hope" program......the first is now addicted to painkillers and on their way back to rehab and the second is currently in prison for drug charges....the second one is in an Arkansas prison, so I would advise against sending your loved ones down there....bad place :(

I have personally met some of the workers/volunteers that work in Arkansas....some decent, others gave me the creeps.

I'm not saying the HOH is a bad thing, just think the one in Arkansas is....I mean 2 people, 5+ years difference in their placements...kinda a pattern. Hope the site in Brazil is fixed up to par before they are shipped to a bad place :(

-- Posted by vu_law_student10 on Tue, Jan 11, 2011, at 12:07 PM

In response to vn_law_student10, You have to want to change your life around,you can't just go though the motions because you are court ordered! My question is if you was so unhappy with the program why did the second family member go there? Maybe your family member wasn't ready to leave yet. I am a firm believer in the work of the house of hope!

-- Posted by mamawfolck on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 5:05 PM

I am a graduate of the house of hope. In 2008 I came into the program tired of life. I was 29 and had 17 arrest with four felonies. I was a full blown drug addict and my since of right and wrong had vanished. I was self-centered and very arrogant. By the time I came to house House of Hope I had already been to three other treatment programs, NA and AA. I was no longer scared of prison or death only living to being very old with the life that I had. At the house of hope they did not celebrate every "clean" day I had, instead they require I have a heart change as well. I have been re-newed and my life today doen't even resemble my former life. I am now trusted,responsible, caring and yes still drug free. At vu_law_student10 instead of trying to ruin the name of Mission Teens please understand that your relatives are responible for their own actions. God still loves them and you though and I pray your becomes softened. P.S. mamawfolck thank you for loving me enough to find the House of Hope and trying that one last time to help me. Love your Daughter

-- Posted by soulshine on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 4:44 PM

At vu_law_student10 instead of trying to ruin the name of Mission Teens please understand that your relatives are responible for their own actions. God still loves them and you though.I pray your heart becomes softened.

-- Posted by soulshine on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 4:49 PM

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