Fellowship Missions director hears support for downtown recovery hub

The storefront at the corner of Market and Buffalo streets is being converted into a recovery hub. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — A week ago, Fellowship Missions, which operates the homeless shelter on East Winona Avenue, announced plans to open a recovery hub in downtown Warsaw that will serve those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.

Executive director Eric Lane, expecting some concerns or questions, spoke to the Warsaw City Council Tuesday and clarified their plans.

“It’s not a shelter. It’s not housing in any way, shape or form. It’s not … a soup kitchen or anything like that,” Lane said.

Fellowship Missions is acquiring the property at the corner of Market and Buffalo streets — the old Champs building — with the help of a $300,000 award that Kosciusko County Council is providing through proceeds from a national opioid settlement agreement.

The two-story facility will be known as The Gathering Place, Lane said.

The first floor will be an open space for anyone struggling with addiction or mental health issues where they can meet with mentors or in group sessions. The upstairs has two large conference rooms that will house like-minded agencies who will provide support.

The organization has lined up a grant from K21 Health Foundation to renovate the second floor.

Lane spoke to council members Tuesday night and was then greeted with words of support.

Some of that came from Jason Brown, a restauranteur who owns several businesses in the downtown. The restaurant industry, he said, often employs some who have had a history of struggles.

“My goal is always to try to help them to grow into what I think they could become, and I know that some of my people could benefit from Eric’s place,” Brown said.

Warsaw Mayor Jeff Grose, who took office two weeks ago, referenced a point he made after being sworn into office.

“A few weeks ago, Eric, I challenged everybody starting with me, let’s be neighbors serving neighbors while cultivating community,” Grose said.

“You’ve been doing that for quite some time and I just appreciate your continued efforts to walk that direction,” Grose said.

Lane said The Gathering Place will employ counselors to assist those who seek support.

He said he views the facility as a neutral place for individuals, family, and friends who can work together with professionals to overcome issues.

Lane said they’ll close on the building Friday and renovations are expected to begin soon.

Editor’s note: You can hear more about plans for the recovery hub and Fellowship missions in this week’s In The Know, a public affairs show that can be heard Friday, Saturday and Sunday on News Now Warsaw, 107.3 WRSW and Willie 103.5. Below is a schedule.

In The Know can be heard at the following times:

News Now Warsaw (99.7 FM and 1480 AM):

Fridays at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Saturdays at 7 a.m. 

Sundays at 7 a.m. & 2 p.m.

WRSW (107.3):

Sundays at 6 a.m.

Willie (103.5 FM):

Sundays at 6 a.m.