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Fit to Recover opens in Ballpark area to offer hope, fitness for community

Posted at 6:01 PM, Jan 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-07 20:01:35-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A new organization in the ballpark community is trying to make the neighborhood a better place to live, and serve those in need.

“Fit To Recover” opened January 7 to help solve issues impacted the area.

“We want crime rate to go down. We want to be of service to people who are unsheltered,” said Ian Acker, Executive Director and founder of Fit to Recover.

“I literally couldn’t dream up a better community partner for this street,” said Amy J Hawkins, Chair of the Ballpark Community Council.

Acker said his mission is to help make the neighborhood a better place. “We want to be the connector, we want to be the hope. We want to uplift the people. So we want to have a big impact and that’s specifically why we chose here,” he said.

Acker started Fit To Recover—a program to help people overcome addiction through fitness, nutrition, creative arts and service, to “provide hope to a lot of people.”

It’s a non-profit to help people in the Ballpark neighborhood who have felt left out in the past. Hawkins said a move like this will help bring more awareness to tackle issues in the community.

“A lot more voices that are going to be paying attention to what’s happening on these blocks,” said Hawkins. “There’s going to be a lot more people saying – we deserve to be treated well, we deserve to treat each other well.”

With problems that the neighborhood has been facing here recently, people said they want change.

“This building is already brightening up, it already looks better. And drawing more people into this neighborhood who wouldn’t normally come here,” said Andrea Brickey, who has lived in the ballpark community for almost two decades.

A concern for residents in the ballpark area were the house fires on Major Street. Now those homes have since been torn down, but community members say that a place like Fit to Recover can be part of the solution to help revitalize this neighborhood.

It opened Saturday morning with neighbors working out together.

“The energy is contagious,” said Brickey. “The positive feedback, the support, I take it from here and out into my daily world.”

Brickey has been coming to Fit To Recover for six months.

“About three years into my sobriety, I decided to check it out. And I’ve never left, I’m here for good.”

The goal is to give people struggling with addiction, an outlet to get help—and ultimately help the community as a whole.

“It’s one of those things where you’re able to give back and it fills your cup,” said Richie Wilson, a trainer at fit to recover.

“As an employee, it helps me remember where I was at the in the beginning. And I feel like it puts me in a position where I can help people.”

Hawkins says that they are getting at the core of the problem, which is people feeling disconnected from each other.

"They’re supplying community and community is the solution to addiction."