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A house of new beginnings, and THE House of New Beginnings

A house of new beginnings, and THE House of New Beginnings
A house of new beginnings, and THE House of New Beginnings
Carl Albin (in T-shirt) and Homer Wiseman watch Robert E. McAfee pull the Leonard Carter house from its site spot on Floyd Street in Corydon last Wednesday morning. The next day, at the same place, banker Roger Alexander talks with House of New Beginnings president Sheila Tempel while Judge Roger Davis talks with county council president Gary Davis (far right) at a ground-breaking ceremony for the halfway house. Lauren Wheatley is in the middle. (Photos by Randy West)

One very old Corydon house got saved last week, and one very new house ‘ actually still in the architect’s plans ‘ got started. One will honor a nearly forgotten man who fought for his country in the Civil War; the other will help people whose lives were very nearly ruined by drug and alcohol abuse.
The two houses have a connection: both are houses of new beginnings.
The Leonard Carter bungalo on Floyd Street once belonged to the African-American man who fought in the Civil War. Maxine Brown, who saved and restored the Leora Brown one-room schoolhouse for black children nearby, led an effort to save the Carter house. It was scheduled to be torn down to make way for a new halfway house called the House of New Beginnings.
Carter’s house was moved last Wednesday morning by Stephen Edwards of Crestwood, Ky. His five-man crew and Robert E. McAfee’s large truck moved it a few blocks away to a location across the street from the Leora Brown school, but it took about three hours because Cinergy and Verizon linemen had to get utility lines out of the way and because the route, from Floyd, to Maple to Summit, has several sharp turns.
Edwards said it wasn’t a big job as house-movings go (they had to remove 50 mailboxes in Madisonville, Ky., recently), but it was tedious. ‘Each situation is unique. This was like putting a round peg in a square hole,’ Edwards said.
The Carter house was removed to a lot on Hill Street where Fred O. Arnett, 83, and his sister, Thelma C. Arnett, 95, died in a house fire in January of 2003. It’s behind the Leora Brown School.
Construction of the House of New Beginnings has not begun yet, but the 2-1/2 acres where the Carter house once stood have been cleared. Sheila Tempel, a Harrison Superior Court probation officer who is the president of the House of New Beginnings board of directors, said at the ground-breaking ceremony Thursday afternoon that the $1 million, 30-room, 8,000-square-foot facility should be open in the summer of 2006. It will be available to carefully screened recovering drug and alcohol abusers. The men who will live there will pay for their room and board and must have jobs. It will have 24-hour supervision.
Not all of the neighbors were happy about the facility being located in their neighborhood on the northeast edge of town.
The House of New Beginnings is not a new idea. Vest Ladd, the late drug and alcohol counselor, started thinking about the need for a halfway house 30 years ago, about the same time he was campaigning for The Next Step, a self-help recovery unit that Ladd helped start on Maple Street a few hundred yards away.
Ladd’s widow, Peggy Ladd, 70, Mauckport, said at the ground-breaking that the House of New Beginnings was her husband’s dream. She said he and others knew a local facility was needed because the court system had to send so many drug and alcohol abusers to facilities in Sellersburg, Scottsburg, Clarksville, New Albany and Louisville.
The House of New Beginnings was incorporated in 1999. Ladd died in August of 2003.
Tempel said the House project got a $500,000 grant last December from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis on Ladd’s 70th birthday. The grant was matched by the Harrison County Council and Commissioners. The effort also got two key grants totaling $140,000 from the Harrison County Community Foundation.
The facililty is being designed by architect Angie Kleer of Michell Timperman Ritz of New Albany and will be built by James Shireman Inc. of Corydon.
Members of the House board of directors are Tempel, vice president Leah S. Fink, treasurer Debbie Longoria, secretary Lauren Wheatley, Cindy Bauer, Larry Bauer, Robert Bolen, Kevin D. Purvis, Phyllis Henderson, Superior Court Judge Roger Davis, Wayne Buchinsky, the Rev. Toney McCutcheon, Karen McCutcheon, Harrison County Prosecutor Dennis Byrd and Fred Satterfield.