An HIV outbreak fueled by intravenous drug use propelled the small town of Austin, Indiana into the national spotlight in 2015.
Since that time, the @courierjournal
has logged numerous stories related to the outbreak and combatting it. Today we are launching “Austin Rising,” a project that focuses on characters with a theme of ‘hope and progress’ as this city aims to change the stigmas.
I wanted to kick this off with some images from Austin’s north side, the hardest hit area by the issues discussed, primarily to give some context. “It may take a generation to right this problem,” said Lori Croasdell, the CEASe coordinator for Scott County. Youth mentors, outreach, extracurriculars and recovery for adults are all in play and will be invaluable to Austin’s future.
Honestly, I’m not ready to wrap this up. I still text residents daily. I worry about some, I miss others and am excited for what’s next for many. I still find myself zoning out when I get on I-65 and find myself unintentionally half way to Austin. Stay tuned for more here, but project link in bio^^^ (P.S. It’s better on desktop)