Unity Center Designated as Project BEST Community Project

Project BEST, a joint effort by the Upper Ohio Valley Building & Construction Trades Council and the Ohio Valley Construction Employers Council, has stepped up to do what they can to fight for the community against Substance Use Disorder by remodeling the Unity Center, an addiction recovery center, as their community project.

Project BEST and other local organizations will be completing the renovations of the Unity Center through volunteering the variety of trades they represent.

“When Wendy Scatterday and Mary Hess approached Ginny Favede and me about taking on the project of rehabbing the Unity Center, I was apprehensive at best,” said Bengy Swanson, Project BEST co-chair and the Ironworker BM/FST. “We had never taken on such a vast project under the Goodwill Committee at Project BEST. But after an hour of listening to the two of them explain what the Unity Center provided for the area and its residents, Ginny and I agreed that we had to become involved in some capacity.

“Upon getting the blessing from the BEST Board, and calling upon the ironworkers, pipefitters, carpenters, painters, laborers, contractors such as JD&E and United Electric, we now find ourselves fully embedded in seeing this project through. At Project Best, it’s all about promoting our profession; what better way than showing off our expertise in a cause that will help the community for years to come.”

“The Unity Center has made an amazing transformation from the old church on Chapline Street. The new location being renovated by Project BEST will meet the needs of those in recovery as well as their families,” said Unity Center board member Nancy Peluchette.

Mary Hess, executive director of the Unity Center, front left, is pictured with board members and supporters, from left: Jon Turak, David Delk, Susan Hagan, Laura Carter, Richard Carter, Nancy Peluchette, Carol Foose and Bill Hogan.

With the completion of the renovations, the Unity Center will increase the number of support meetings held and expand services.

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Some expanded services include cooking classes, SNAP Benefit budgeting, menu planning, resume writing, interview training and recovery coaches. A children’s program is also being developed so that when children go to the Unity Center with their parents who are attending a support meeting, a specialist will be working with the children as recovery is a family journey.

The remodel will include a coffee bar area and a recreation space for people to hang out and build their recovery support system as well as quiet spaces to be used for one-on-one work with a sponsor or counselor.

“Project BEST has stood by their commitment to the community,” said Mary Hess, executive director of the Unity Center. “We are so excited that they are making it possible for us to expand our services to better serve our community sooner.”

The Unity Center is a community addiction recovery center whose mission is to meet the needs of the community struggling with the many forms of addiction in a warm, accepting environment. The Unity Center is home to a variety of peer support meetings, parenting classes and relationship classes. About 400 people attend the 20 meetings held weekly. The Unity Center also serves as a resource for the families and the community to find help for their loved ones. The services that are offered are open to anyone and are free.

Project BEST is a construction industry labor-management organization encompassing over 500 contractors, and 6,000 building trades craftsman and apprentices serving the Upper Ohio Valley region. Its primary purpose is to promote jobs for its participants by providing quality and safety-conscious craftsmen and on-time completion of projects within budget to its commercial and industrial customers and encouraging economic development throughout the region it serves.