AVON — A man who previously struggled with substance use disorder is now wanting to help others who are facing similar problems.
Elliott Hughes, program director of Way Maker, had big plans for a house tucked away at the end of a road in Avon.
Way Maker is a non-profit that works with those in recovery.
The house has a new kitchen, dining room, living room and bedrooms set up as a group home for women recovering.
"In Hendricks County, there are no women's recovery residences, which means if a woman is needing a structured supportive environment to help get back on their feet and help stay sober, there are none here," Hughes said.
But his plans will need to wait for now.
The Hendricks County Board of Zoning Appeals, a five-member board, denied the special exception after a recommendation of support from the director of building and planning for the county.
"We believe it wasn't based off the findings that the director of building and planning found but based off discrimination and fears of who, i.e. people of substance abuse disorders, living here," Hughes said.
They didn't have any comment when WRTV went knocking on their doors.
Hughes said they did have some comments during Thursday night's meeting. He said they had safety concerns, said there could be needles in the front yard, have criminals at the house, and more.
"We believe that God will make a way, but in my humanness, it was challenging not to be angry," Cindy Whyde, the CEO of Way Maker said.
They said they are in this for the long haul and still focused on its goal of providing a group home for women in recovery.
"God has called us to this to serve this community and to help bring Jesus and to help solve addiction," Hughes said.
They will have to sell the house and look for a new place to go.
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