New tenants, same vision Huntington County embraces Victory Noll legacy

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Visions: Newsletter of Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters on July 2021 by Sister Mary Jo Nelson

It all began with questions…

In February 2017, the OLVM Leadership Team invited a wide variety of human service providers in the Huntington Community to meet with them. We asked them two questions: 1) what is the most critical need in our community, and 2) how could our
campus buildings be repurposed to meet this need of the community? We continued this conversation for about 18 months. Although we had no direction for the use
of our buildings, we did come away with an expanded consciousness about the systemic drug addiction problem in our city and county.

After several years of exploring options and having many conversations both within and beyond the congregation, the Sisters decided at their 2020 Chapter to give their land back to God and deconstruct our buildings. A follow-up letter about this decision was then sent to all our colleagues and partners.

A few weeks later, Mayor Richard Strick of Huntington called Sister Mary Jo after he received this letter. He asked, “Are you open to exploring another option for your
buildings, or is it too late?” The Leadership Team decided to meet with representatives of Huntington County and City. A couple of weeks later we received a proposal from Huntington County Community Corrections, entitled “Restorative Programming, Residential Service and Treatment.” This program is for persons struggling with addictions, who also have demonstrated a desire to change, are low risk to others, and have a high need for personal formation, job training, life skills development, healing and wellness. These are our neighbors who are on the edge. They need a lot of supportive services to change their lives and become good parents, good friends, good
employees, and contribute back to society.

We were both hopeful and cautious, and decided to keep the conversation going.

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