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Church stepping up to fight opioid epidemic

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On the heels of President Donald Trump's announcement about plans to declare a national emergency for the opioid crises, a church in Westerville is taking a different approach to help addicts. (WSYX/WTTE)

On the heels of President Donald Trump's announcement about plans to declare a national emergency for the opioid crises, a church in Westerville is taking a different approach to help addicts.

A weekend event at Faith Covenant Church kicked off Friday as church leaders are hoping it will help their community fight off drugs.

"We believe that hearts can be changed and if hearts are changed, then lives can be changed and families can be changed," said Tim Heintzelman, the lead pastor of Faith Covenant Church in Westerville.

During the event recovering addicts share their stories and credit faith-based programs for helping them live a clean life.

Greg and Tricia Allenby are members of Faith Covenant Church and also the owners of Covenant House and Fort Jackson.

The Allenby's help men transition when they get out of jail.

"While they're technically clean in their minds, they're rehearsing what it's going to be like when they get out," said Greg Allenby.

The Allenby's help men before they can get their gate pay. It's not a lot of money, but the Allenby's know it's enough for addicts to feed their addiction when they get out of jail.

"They may use it to buy a beer or a joint or some drugs. We desperately want to get to them before they take that first step," said Greg Allenby.

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