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Father Glenn O'Connor plants Seeds of Hope

Posted: 12:14 AM, Apr 15, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-15 00:14:40-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- He's helped hundreds of women beat addictions and get their lives back on track – and some say without him, they would still be on the streets.

Seventeen years later, Father Glenn O'Connor is still there for the residents of Seeds of Hope whenever they need him.

In 1999, when he was pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church on the city's southwest side, he co-founded the Seeds of Hope halfway house for women.

"I didn't really know a lot about a halfway house or drugs or alcohol, so it was all kind of new," he said. "So we prayed about it, said we'd give it a college effort, find out what we need to do and go forward."

And that's what the staff continues to do: Move residents forward.

Sabrina Boylen is one of those residents. She's trying to overcome 10 years of smoking crack, shooting heroin and serving time behind bars.

"Even though we want to stay clean, it's hard when we don't know how to," she said. "This place has taught me how to stay clean, and that's what I love about it."

Marvetta Grimes runs the halfway house now. She knows what it takes to succeed – she was one of the first residents shortly after O'Connor got it off the ground.

"He was not the average priest," she said. "And we kinda got along, and that's why I like him so much. Really, I adopted him. He doesn't have any children, so I adopted him. He now has a daughter."

O'Connor is a father figure for a lot of the women. But when it comes to taking credit for their success, he shakes his head.

"I will never take the credit," he said. "I'm in sales. And you know, it really is a combine effort."

For all of his hard work and commitment to his community, O'Connor was selected as the Jefferson Award winner for April.

If you know someone deserving of a Jefferson Award, nominate them here

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