VINTON — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) visited the Field of Hope campus Tuesday morning and toured the community center’s facilities.
He also discussed its ongoing mission of assisting those in the region struggling with addiction and domestic issues, and meeting local needs as a food pantry.
According to Field of Hope representative Kevin Dennis, the assembled group toured the entirety of the former North Gallia High School facility and current community center. Portman was able to observe future food pantry facilities as well as a gym receiving upgrades to be turned into a community youth center. Next, the group went to tour the 16-bed women’s recovery house the campus broke ground on earlier in the year. Of those in the home, 14 will be in treatment and the others will serve as community managers and guides.
“It’s got a roof on it now and it’s really shaping up,” said Dennis. “We had five of our folks who found victory in recovery tell their stories.”
Dennis said he felt that Portman appeared visibly moved by the testimonies of the recovered addicts.
Dennis reported area officials and election candidates appeared for the senator’s visit. Gallia candidate for prosecutor Jason Holdren appeared as well as Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins, Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning, Gallia County Commissioner Brent Saunders, Gallia County Republican Party Chairperson Kennison Saunders as well as Field of Hope representatives and members of Gallia Strong Tower, a Vinton Baptist Church ministry.
Dennis said the women’s recovery home on the campus is “all framed up” with a roof on it and construction crews will soon be moving inside to finish working on the structure. Dennis estimates the facility will be finished in June 2017, however, much of the work will determine on how weather continues into the coming year and whether a waste water treatment facility can be completed on the community campus.
“I want to thank Kevin Dennis and everyone from Field of Hope for the opportunity to tour its facility, and more importantly for their work to help so many struggling with addiction get their lives back on track,” said Portman. “It was inspiring to hear from those who are fighting their addiction and winning. Their example of courage and perseverance is something we can all learn from. I’ve met with hundreds of people in recovery from addiction, and one thing that has come up again and again in talking to them is how faith – recognizing and encountering a higher power – provides needed strength and encouragement in this difficult process of breaking the grip of addiction. My faith has given me strength in difficult times, too. I think that this faith-based approach will make Field of Hope even more effective.”
Portman said he felt recently passed federal legislation called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery, of which he supported, was signed into law in past July and will assist programs like Field of Hope in allowing them to apply for grants to assist in addiction recovery programs as well as assisting in public education endeavors.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.