A former convict and recovering heroin addict who regained his world-class BMX bicycle racer status and became an Olympic coach will speak in Columbus next week.

Tony Hoffman, who placed second in the BMX Masters Pro class at the 2016 World Championships, will be the featured speaker at the ninth annual Desperate Households Conference at Westside Community Church, 124 Tipton Lakes Blvd.

Sponsored by the Bartholomew County Substance Abuse Council, the free half-day conference will be presented Wednesday in two sessions: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 4:15 to 6:30 p.m.

The timing of the annual event couldn’t be better for the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress in Bartholomew County, which will deliver its six-month update to the community about a week after the conference, said Jeff Jones, the organization’s executive lead.

“The most important outcome of the Desperate Households conference is to let everyone know there is hope, and recovery is possible,” Jones said. “There are many great examples in our community of individuals who are successfully recovering from addiction. Their stories build confidence and support for the initiatives that we will be recommending.”

Those initiatives will be presented by Jones and others at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24 in The Commons.

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.