Plans to locate a recovery center for women with drug and alcohol addiction in Lula was recommended for approval by the Banks County Planning Commission on Tuesday, Aug. 4.
The Banks County Board of Commissioners will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11, to take final action on the request from Susan Sorrows for a conditional use application to allow the center to operate at 111 Jack Drive.
“Community Recovery Center is trying to open the first recovery center in Banks County,” Sorrows said at the planning commission meeting on Tuesday evening (Aug. 4). “Our mission is to help women to get the help they desperately need in this community. Most families are affected by addiction in some way shape our form. Our goal is to affect them with recovery. Most importantly, to show recovery is possible and restore them with their families and build our community of Banks County stronger. If we do not help our own community, who will? I hope everyone who knows this is needed shows up Tuesday, Aug. 11, to show support.”
Sorrows said the center would be operated with “transparency, professionalism and compassion.”
Her son and daughter-in-law, Bradley and Emily Sullens, also spoke and said the center would be faith-based and would provide the six women who live there with life skills, GED and a 12-step daily recovery program. The women would also be required to work and would be transported by staff and volunteers to their approved jobs. They would also be given random drug screenings. The center would have staff on the site at all times.
Jeff Breedlove, who is with the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse, also spoke on behalf of the recovery center and said, “What Banks County needs is more recovery places and less crime. Recovery is going to make Banks County safer. We hope compassion will rule the day and people will give these women a chance. We hope you will decide in favor of hope and recovery and love and compassion.”
Two Banks County women, who have recovered from drug abuse, also spoke in favor of the recovery center.
One woman, a mother of two young boys, stated, “It is important to have these facilities in our community. Recovery is real and it happens in communities.”
The other woman who spoke, a former law enforcement officer, said, “I am living proof that recovery is possible.”
Four people spoke in opposition to the recovery center locating on Jack Drive, including Dale Herbert, whose property adjoins the site. He said he doesn’t want people with drug addiction living 200 feet from where he is raising his grandchildren. He also presented a list with signatures of people in the community who also don’t want the recovery center in the neighborhood.
“It only takes one person to go haywire,” he said. “There is no fence around it or anything. People don’t want this in the community with little kids.”
Herbert’s daughter, Rhonda Parson, said, “It will bring more criminal activity to the area. This area is already known for the drug activity that is there. Dad commends the spirit of this being done but it is the reality of it.”
Shannon Watkins also spoke against the center locating on Jack Drive, stating, “We don’t want this on our road. We have children. We have senior citizens. They need to find a bunch a property and do it there.”
Carol Watkins, who said she has lived on the road for 58 years, also spoke in opposition to the plans for the center to locate on Jack Drive.