Friday, September 24th, 2021

Community Center provides connections

Posted: Friday, September 10, 2021

Ground Zero Community Center, 1230 S. Jefferson Street, Huntington, officially opened to the public on Saturday, June 5. The vision of the center is “to serve Huntington’s young people with a place of safety and Godly encouragement.”

The volunteers at the center have all known or lost someone due to addiction, death or suicide. Ground Zero provides a space for people in all walks and ages of life to come and connect with someone who cares. Resources are available to help meet their needs right where they are. The center volunteers want to make sure that everyone has a safe place to go, to never struggle alone or feel unwanted.

Jim Splawn, pastor at The Mission House, along with Bethanie Burns and Jeff Dimond, came together after suffering losses related to drug overdoses. They wanted to become a connection point for building strong and successful relationships with others in the community who want to encourage and help others. With Ground Zero they are creating an environment that puts resources and tools into young adults’ lives. They hope to keep people off the streets surrounded by those who care in a safe, fun and productive atmosphere.

Burns and Dimond serve as directors and facility coordinators of the community center, though everyone that is currently involved hopes to see it become a community effort. The center has one resource director and one counselor available. Counseling with Johnnie Hiles is available for those who are in addiction or facing mental health issues. Resource director Renee Shultz is able to connect those who come to the community center with the proper programs.

“We want other churches involved, agencies involved … we don’t want it to just be a Mission House thing,” Splawn said. “From my point of view, I want the community to take ownership in it. I want the community to come together and put their heads together for what they would like to see done.”

“There is always something that we need,” Burns said. “Food, financial support, volunteers … it’s really endless right now.”

Ground Zero is open on a certain schedule until enough people are available to help to keep it open seven days a week. Burns says that there is not an age limit to who can use the community center, but it is geared towards young adults.

Anyone who would like to volunteer for a specific position, sponsor an activity night, or donate to Ground Zero, may contact the center at (260) 200-1900. Splawn can be contacted at (260) 341-9397. All volunteers, mentors, counselors and directors must pass a background check.

Shown in the photo is the Ground Zero Community Center located at 1230 S. Jefferson Street.