Project Morning Star presented to drug court team

WORTHINGTON – The Cornerstone Drug Court Team was presented today with information about the proposed Project Morning Star Residential Recovery program, a transitional housing program in which residents can work on their recovery from addiction in a safe, stable and sober environment before re-entering the community on their own.

The proposed facility is located eight miles south of Worthington and has two homes surrounded by six acres of property. Last week the Nobles County Planning Commission approved the conditional use permit, with one member voting against the project. The next step is to get approval from the Nobles County Commissioners on the recommendation of the planning commission.

Tom Christian, director of Project Morning Star, told the drug court team residents will be expected to pay rent and follow all rules. There will be zero tolerance for any drugs or alcohol, weapons, theft or trespassing. The criteria to get into the program eliminates any sex offenders or people with violent criminal histories.

Each house – one for women and one for men - has five bedrooms. Christian said allowances would be made for women with children, and he hopes to one day add cottages for family units. At Project Morning Star, recovering addicts being released from incarceration would learn life skills and possibly some customized training, along with agricultural skills.

Christian said he understands the concern neighbors have shown, but lives right across the road and will be on-site 10 to 12 hours a day. His goal, he said, is to provide a place for people who fall between the cracks.

The biggest challenge addicts face is to change the cycle of their lives, Christian said, and going back to places where drugs and alcohol are still prevalent cuts a person's chances of staying sober in half.

Project Morning Star would give people a chance to live in a safe, sober and structured environment, Christian said.

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Effective

In my own opinion,this will definitely lower the cases of drugs and substance abuse. - James D. Sterling

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