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Working Together: COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits Progress House

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 18:50:33-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Progress House is currently home to 95 men recovering from substance use disorder. Like many organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, they've had to make some changes to keep these residents safe.

Money from the COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund is helping.

"I burned all my bridges," Eliot Severeid said. "This was the last stop."

Severeid knew his third stay at Progress House was his final chance to make a change.

"I came from incarceration," he said. "I woke up in Florida with a robbery charge."

The Plainfield native said he has dealt with substance use disorder for 12 years.

"Someone who doesn't have this disease doesn't know what it's like to wake up at two in the morning and have to drink a pint to stop shaking — put something in my arm in order to brush my teeth and get well," Severeid said.

Despite coming from a good home, using drugs and alcohol was how Severeid said he escaped reality. His final stay at the state's largest men's recovery house changed his life.

"I know for a fact if it wasn't for this facility I would probably be doing 30 years at the Department of Correction if I was lucky," Severeid said.

"This is a space and a career where you get to see miracles occur," Darrell Mitchell, executive director of Progress House, said. "You see people that are coming in broken and aren't sure their life can change and to see them not only piece their life back together but to begin to thrive it's indescribable."

Money from the COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund is allowing them to continue changing lives. It helped pay for PPE, extra staff hours, and upgrades to the building. During the pandemic, 75 men sheltered in place while receiving services.

"The magic of a recovery residence is in the community," Mitchell said.

"It's giving me a quality of life that is beyond my wildest dreams," Severeid said.

Progress House is also a subsidiary of Aspire Indiana Health, which allows them to provide primary healthcare in a recovery residence environment.

Severeid will mark three years of sobriety in August and he's now working as a re-entry coordinator at Progress House.

Nearly $24 million has been donated to the fund so far. You can donate by texting HELP 2020 to 91999.

What is Working Together?
Working Together is a new WRTV initiative that focuses on telling impactful stories highlighting the wide range of cultures, areas and people that make central Indiana the place that it is. Through our Working Together initiative we will share the stories of our communities and carry their voices forward. We’re Working for You by Working Together.

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