You can’t turn on the news today without hearing about the heroin problem plaguing our community. Overdoses, deaths, public health risk, and crime are all on the rise. Every family, business, and civic arm of our city is impacted in one way or the other. The Healing Place is the region’s largest open access recovery program. The ever growing demand for our services has exceeded our ability to meet the need with our current facilities.
The new description “open access” has been used recently to describe our service, which made me wonder what that phrase really means. I discovered that at The Healing Place, it means that we try to remove the barriers to recovery. The Healing Place is an outreach program open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Because we do not charge our clients for services, they are not going to be turned away if they don’t have insurance or the ability to pay privately. Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge McKay Chauvin once described The Healing Place as “someone’s best, last chance”.
Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming number of men showing up looking to get a bed here at The Healing Place, this access is now limited. In fact we are turning away more than 300 men each month. We have placed as many men here as we can and our physical space has reached maximum capacity. On a day like today, when we turned 12 people away because we do not have beds available, that does not seem very “open” to me.
Our Capital Campaign to expand the Men’s Campus on West Market Street has really started to pick up momentum thanks to the generosity of our supporters and community leaders. Individuals, businesses, and foundations have come in with cash and pledges of more than $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2016 alone. Recognizing that our program is a valuable community asset, the Louisville Metro Council voted 25-1 to invest $620,000 in our expansion efforts. This matching grant from the city combined with our recent success securing funding in the private sector has put us ever so close to breaking ground this year. Once we break ground, the expansion will be done within 24 months. The expansion will double the size of our Detox and add nearly 200 beds to the long-term recovery program.
So… back to open access. Right now we serve more than 250 clients daily on the Men’s Campus, most of whom would not be able to get the help they desperately need anywhere else. We provide housing, clothing, food, and a nationally-recognized recovery program and return family members, workers, and productive contributors back to the community -- all at no charge to the client or their family.
We have had a lot of fundraising success recently and that momentum carries a lot of energy with it. I believe the energy is centered in vision of doors opening, allowing access to those that so desperately want a better life. Breaking ground this year is going to be a wonderful accomplishment, but shovels in the ground pale in comparison to our open doors.
Posted on April 5, 2016
by Laci Comer filed under