Recovery housing key to reducing OD deaths, county group says

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 8:00 PM

Recovering drug users Sarah Northrop-Fowler, Andrew Leadford and Cory Kabara (right), all discussed the importance of recovery housing Thursday at a Community Overdose Action Team monthly update. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
Chris Stewart
Recovering drug users Sarah Northrop-Fowler, Andrew Leadford and Cory Kabara (right), all discussed the importance of recovery housing Thursday at a Community Overdose Action Team monthly update. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF(Chris Stewart)

Overdose deaths in Montgomery County are at the year’s lowest level — about 40 a month — after hitting a high of 80 in May. Now, a community team working on the problem believes a key to reducing the number further is through longer-term recovery housing, which can lower the odds of relapse.

Experts say drug addiction doesn’t end after a month or two in a treatment program. To keep recovering addicts from going back to their old friends and habits requires a transition from treatment back into jobs and the community.

RELATED: Ohio invests big in opening recovery houses for heroin addicts

Cory Kabara, 33, spent nine months in a treatment program and now credits his continued sobriety to the structure provided by a recovery house in a local neighborhood.

“Every single day of the week, we have something to do,” Kabara, a Lima native, said. “At first it can seem overwhelming, but there’s a plan behind it – learning how to deal with life in a positive way … and helping others in the process.”

MORE: 2016 deadliest year for overdoses, fentanyl deaths more than double

Recovery houses located in residential areas is a focus of faith-based organizations, nonprofits, some private citizens and the state of Ohio through county drug boards.

Joshua Recovery Ministries, where Kabara is now a house steward, operates four Dayton-area recovery houses, some of which are supported by the Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS).

In all, the ADAMHS board is affiliated with seven providers operating nine local recovery houses with the ability to serve 30 women and 25 men.

“A safe place to recover is vitally important,” Helen Jones-Kelley, ADAMHS’ executive director, said. “Recovery housing relies on peer support and building a mindset and supportive network that individuals can take with them as they transition back into the community.”

Sarah Northrop-Fowler battled addiction for more than half her 31 years. During that time she divorced, lost custody of her son, served time in prison and was brought back to life twice with Narcan, the overdose reversal drug.

“I was homeless, penniless, hopeless. A truly walking, lifeless shell,” she said.

Residing in a Lighthouse Project recovery house has helped her live the last 10 months free of drugs, Northrop-Fowler said.

RELATED: Montgomery County OD crisis: ‘We are nowhere near achieving our goal’

The peer-supported arrangement is not to be confused with a group home, Jones-Kelley said. The housing is designed for those well along in their recovery to provide a safe environment supportive of abstinence and help connect residents to community services. The houses are also meant to build structure and routine and to promote life skills development aimed toward employment.

But not everyone approves of recovering addicts living next door.

A group that purchased the Branch of the Vine Church in Miamisburg for recovery housing met resistance this summer by some nearby residents. In 2016, fire engulfed a house on Berwyck Avenue in Harrison Twp. as it underwent renovations to house recovering addicts.

MORE: Drug addict recovery group’s plan for church irks Miamisburg residents

“I just ask that you be open-minded in considering the benefits that the cities and schools and our children and the once-broken homes could gain while allowing those like myself the opportunity to become clean,” Northrop-Fowler said.

Northrop-Fowler, Kabara and another man in recovery housing, Andrew Leadford, 34, all made the case for the need for recovery houses on Thursday at a Community Overdose Action Team (COAT) update to the community.

Since 2014, the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services has invested resources to bring online more than 1,000 recovery housing beds statewide, said spokesman Eric Wandersleben.

“Expanding access to housing remains a key priority and is considered a core tenet of the long-term recovery paradigm,” said Wandersleben.

The latest biennial state budget includes more than $25 million for recovery-oriented system of care that incorporates vital supports housing, peer services and employment as part of the acute care model. In Montgomery County, about $789,000 of Human Services Levy funding is spent for recovery housing matched by federal and state funds, said Jones-Kelley.

Giving a recovering addict a place in the housing comes at a lower cost than jail, according to a 2013 state study. One report showed a per-tenant savings of $29,000 compared to not putting them in housing.

Last year, 4,050 Ohioans died from unintentional drug overdoses, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Fentanyl and extremely potent related synthetic opioids were involved in 58 percent of the deaths. In Montgomery County, 349 people died during 2016 from overdoses, 251 due to fentanyl or analogues.

“I know this epidemic is troublesome to say the least. But there’s so much hope,” Kabara said. “I’ve seen guys come into Joshua Recovery Ministries with nothing – I swear to you nothing but the clothes on their back – and they leave with the custody of their kids.”

Snakes die as a result of Englewood garage fire

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 2:54 AM

SCENE: Snakes die in Englewood garage fire

Snakes are among the animals that died after a garage fire occurred in Englewood early Monday morning.

RELATED: West Chester retiring 30-year-old fire truck

Crews responded to the 4500 block of Roblar Hills Drive around 1 a.m. on a fully involved detached garage fire, per initial reports.

TRENDING: ‘Miracle baby’ takes first steps after surviving double-fatal crash

The garage, which was used as a work station, had animals, a vehicle, and propane tanks inside, which were all lost during the fire, according to fire officials.

No one was hurt as a result of the fire and damage estimates are unknown, but crews say the garage is a total loss.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 

Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 3:56 AM
Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 12:38 AM

Police are on scene where a female juvenile hit was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital with minor injuries.
Police are on scene where a female juvenile hit was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital with minor injuries.

Check this page for a full list of crashes, disabled vehicles, construction projects and other hazards impacting your commute.

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

RELATED: Find the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood with our Pump Patrol

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents to report.

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents to report.

>> RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 


  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction Nov. 29 - Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.


  • SR 705 near Groff Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Dec. 11 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • SR 121 between SR 726 and New Madison-Coletown Road, ROAD CLOSURE Nov. 20 - Dec. 22. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503
    • SR 29 between Cisco Road and West Russell Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Jan. 1 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. One lane will be open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers. 

    Clouds and more snow expected over coming days

    Published: Saturday, December 09, 2017 @ 5:19 AM
    Updated: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 4:50 PM

    The chance for more snow is returning to the Dayton area as we head through the work-week.

    Mainly clear skies are expected this evening, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. Temperatures will fall into the 20s.

    >> PHOTOS: Winter comes early


    • Clouds return tonight
    • Chance for snow returns this week
    • Low temperatures remain

    >> How much snow fell on Saturday?

    >> What are the chances for a White Christmas?


    Overnight: Clouds build in overnight, which will be cold with lows in the lower to middle 20s.

    Monday: Mostly cloudy skies are expected with highs in the middle to upper 30s. There is the chance for a passing light rain shower in the afternoon, but most look to stay dry with a better chance for snow coming overnight into Tuesday. 

    >> YOU NEED THIS: WHIO Weather App

    5-Day Temperature Trend(Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

    >> County-by-County Weather 

    Tuesday Lake-effect snow showers are expected. Highs will be in the upper 20s.

    >> SkyWitness7

    Wednesday: A few flurries are possible. It's also going to be a cold day, with morning temperatures in the middle teens. Highs will only be in the middle to upper 20s. 

    Thursday: The chance for more snow returns with highs in the middle 30s.

    Friday: A few flurries are possible with highs in the lower 30s.

    >> WHIO Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar

    ‘Miracle baby’ takes first steps after surviving double-fatal crash

    Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 11:17 PM

    'Miracle baby' survives double-fatal crash

    A 14-month-old, the lone survivor of a crash that killed two family members, escaped the wreckage with only a few scrapes.

    The baby, Harlyn, was in her car seat when a pickup truck went off State Route 380, flipped, and slammed into a tree on a local campground. Her grandfather, 49-year-old Carl Perry and great grandmother, 73-year-old Linda Davis, were killed.

    >> RELATED: Child survives double fatal crash in Greene County; victims identified 

    Not only did Harlyn escape with only a few scratches, her family said after getting home from the hospital Saturday night, she walked for the first time.

    “Thankful doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel,” said Trey Culp, Harlyn’s father.

    >> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

    Lynn Perry, whose husband and mother were killed in the crash, said Harlyn is a “miracle baby.”

    The family is now seeking answers after two members of their family were killed.

    “They were both great people and they shouldn’t have been taken out of the world like this,” Kia Coates said.