Faith Forward open house to feature judge candidate, talk on opioid epidemic
Latrobe nonprofit Faith Forward Ministries will hold an open house Thursday at its Mozart Hall headquarters.
The free event, set for 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 338 Main St., will offer the public an opportunity to learn about the organization’s services and plans while also meeting Hempfield attorney Michael Stewart II, who is running for Westmoreland County judge next month, and Greensburg native Scott Brown, author of “Hope and Heartbreak: Beyond The Numbers Of The Opioid Epidemic.”
Dawn Hennessey, Faith Forward executive director, said the epidemic of addiction to opioids and other controlled substances is a common concern for her, Stewart and Brown. She said the trio will begin the evening with a panel discussion and question-and-answer session on the topic.
Hennessey said her human services organization is renaming a portion of the Mozart building “Angel Arms Education and Awareness Family Center.” Faith Forward’s Angel Arms program offers support services to children born into addiction and their caregivers.
The organization is featured in Brown’s book, released earlier this year, along with stories of local families that have been affected by the opioid crisis.
Currently operating in a portion of the Mozart Hall’s first floor, Faith Forward has been working to renovate the upper floor of the landmark 1890 building to provide an expanded space for meetings, Hennessey said.
The second floor features a large hall where concerts, musicals and operettas were staged in years past.
“We’re not going to have the stage area open,” Hennessey said. “It needs more renovation.”
But, she said, “We’ll be expanding in the way we can educate. We’ll be holding meetings and teaching about children who are addicted and what to expect. We have a panel of doctors and educators who are coming together to be able to teach parents and caregivers.”
Hennessey said Faith Forward doesn’t intend to contest a recent decision by Latrobe’s zoning hearing board that stymied the nonprofit’s plan to convert a portion of a large Victorian house it owns on Depot Street into overflow office space.
“We don’t know exactly what we’re going to do there,” she said.
Visitors to the open house also can check out Market on Main, a shop that shares the ground floor of the Mozart Hall and is stocked with a selection of antique, vintage and collectible items. Sales at the store benefit the Angel Arms program.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .