Heroin epidemic forcing expansion of addiction recovery center
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An addiction recovery center in Louisville that is turning people away because there aren't enough beds has announced a major expansion.
The heroin epidemic is driving more people to seek help. The Healing Place on West Market Street in downtown Louisville will soon be able to help more men in our community get clean and get back on their feet.
The approved construction plans will double the number of beds in the detox facility and add nearly 200 beds to the long-term recovery program in order to help address the community's growing substance abuse challenges.
"This is not about a building," said Karyn Hascal, President of The Healing Place. "It is about delivering hope to the men and women in every zip code, of every religion, of every race, and from all walks of life. It is about providing a solution to an issue that affects our entire community."
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The Healing Place men's campus provides food, shelter, clothing, and recovery services to 250 men a day. Services are provided at no cost to the client. A majority of people there have struggled with heroin and fentenal abuse. Twenty-eight years ago, when the center first opened, people were primarily there for alcohol and cocaine recovery.
Because of lack of beds, The Healing Place is having to turn away an average of 300 men from detox every month.
"We actually had one man who is here with us now, who literally slept in a ditch behind our building for two weeks waiting to get in a bed," said Hascall.
The addiction recovery center has helped people like Roy Sherrill. "I've used every kind of drug known to man," said Sherrill. "My number one was heroin."
Sherrill started abusing drugs at age 16. He's now 30 years old and earlier this year realized his life needed to change.
"Waking up one day in the passenger seat of somebody's car and been there for two weeks and I just realized how pitiful my life had become," said Sherrill. "My father didn't raise me to become that."
Sherrill went to The Healing Place in May.
"I come staggering in, praying to God for another way," Sherrill said. "I had to wait a couple weeks to get in."
Sherrill has been clean for the past seven months and is a peer mentor, helping others who have struggled like him.
"It's like I've been reborn," Sherrill said. "Let em know I did it, you can do it too and I'm here with it every day."
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The $29 million project will take 24 months to complete. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of the year. The Healing Place will be able to operate at full capacity during construction with the additional detox beds being available in approximately one year, after the completion of Phase One of the project.
The James Graham Brown Foundation provided the lead gift of $1.5 million. The Louisville Metro Council approved $1.12 million for the expansion, with the Kentucky Office for Substance Abuse Policy in Frankfort contributing $500,000.
The Healing Place will receive $10 million in tax credits, but has approximately $8 million left to raise over the next two years.
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