Urbana's Lifeline-connect seeking to expand its reach

Urbana's Lifeline-connect seeking to expand its reach

After a decade of providing faith-based recovery services to substance-addicted men, the founders of an Urbana-based residential program hope to reach more than double the people served now.

On Thursday, Lifeline-connect officials made their first pitch for investors to consider — it calls for a $639,000 dormitory with a multipurpose gym center that can serve 24 men at once, instead of the six it can fit now.

Co-founder Brenda Rogers, who along with husband D.L. and Randy Brown started Lifeline, told a group at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce that the building's plans have been drawn up and approved by planning and zoning officials.

"We won't build it until it's debt-free," she said

As it stands now, each participant pays $500 for a year of treatment, which focuses on relapse prevention, life management, accountability, financial responsibility and Christian biblical principles.

The program isn't supported by state or federal funding, Rogers said, adding that each participant costs $1,800 per month, and not all can afford the entry fee right away.

Although faith-based, the program doesn't require participants to have a Christian background, she said.

"We interview based on: Are they willing to trust something, someone other than themselves to get better?" Brown said in a video about the program.

Graduates can be connected with local employers. Troy Lanz, owner of Lanz Heating & Cooling HVAC, said the ones he's hired have been "disciplined, trained and in good moods."

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