Days before Andy Hirst died in 2010 of an opioid overdose at the age of 24, he told his father Mike what he thought about his life.
“I’ve caused a big strain on you and mom, I’ve been in trouble, all these things in life I’ve done,” Hirst said. “I have no purpose.”
But after years of hard work and planning, Andy’s legacy will live on at an apartment complex designed to help people battling opioid addictions.
“This is where we make our stand,” Mike said at the groundbreaking. “This is where we fight back against those that put profit over people. This is where the drug dealers are not allowed.”
The goal is to finish building by next year. It will provide a place for recovering opioid users to stay that will also allow them to find the resources they need all in one place thing for things like job hunting or learning new skills that will help them re-enter life while maintaining their sobriety.
Hirst says recovering users need this kind of comprehensive care if they want any chance of beating their addiction for good.
“Here’s a place where we can get people back on their feet again,” Hirst said of the new complex. “Give them the time it takes to actually get better. We’re not gonna cut them free after a 30, 60, 90 day program. They’re gonna come here.”
And as for his son’s legacy, Hirst says it will live on through the lives touched by the complex.
“You see a building going up today. You see a building going up with his name on it…This one’s all about you buddy.”