JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – A new effort to help people recover from opioid addiction in Jackson County got some help of its own today with the donation of thousands of dollars.
“You know, when Andy died, it was just a shock to us,” said Mike Hirst, the founder of Andy’s Place.
Hirst says while he knows opioid addiction can affect anyone, he never thought it would change his family the way it did.
“We tried everything in the world to try and save Andy, and you know you go to rehab, you feel really good after rehab, he looked good, he talked good, you know I assumed he was better, but then he quickly relapsed,” said Hirst.
Hirst’s son died almost 10 years ago from an opioid overdose at only 24-years-old.
It’s now his mission to help others through a housing project for people recovering from addiction called Andy’s Place.
“We spent all this money on 30, 60, 90 day rehab stays that’s pretty much wasted because we don’t have something else after that, this will be that something else after that,” said Hirst.
Hirst says his son didn’t have somewhere like Andy’s Place to help him recover, which is why he’s glad to see others investing in a cause so close to his heart.
Today the organization received a $150,000 donation from Delta Dental.
“This is a major crisis not only in our state but across the nation, and we’re invested in being part of the recovery effort,” Lisa Nguyen, the special projects and public relations officer for Delta Dental.
Hirst says if his son were alive today to see all of this taking place:
“A pretty big smile on his face, that’s for sure, you know, it’s such an honor and tribute to him to have this building named after him,” said Hirst.
Andy’s Place in currently under construction and the goal is for it to open by mid-summer.