The Healing Place of Athens is on a mission to reopen our doors with an updated, comprehensive recovery program to meet the needs of the Athens community. Four Athens Healing Place board members recently returned from a visit to The Healing Place of Louisville, Kentucky, the original model program, now celebrating 25 years serving the recovery community in Louisville. The Athens board members returned with a new fire to replicate the successful Kentucky model in Athens as soon as possible. And at a special meeting on September 30, 2014 the Athens Board of Directors passed unanimously a resolution to do just that! A feasibility study has been launched to identify resources, with an aim to build a new Healing Place of Athens facility as soon as possible in 2015 or early 2016.
We have begun to raise $50,000-100,000 in seed money by January, which will be needed to fund the feasibility study, the planning and design phase, and kickoff the capital building campaign. It is anticipated that the new center will require $3-4 million in capital, with an estimated $800,000/year operating budget. The center will serve alcoholic and drug addicted men with a long term (6 month), spiritually-based 12-step recovery program. The 100 bed facility will give up to 200 men each year a chance for new lives as productive, responsible citizens. We estimate the savings in Athens emergency services, hospital and emergency room stays, police services, jail resources, etc. to be in the millions of dollars each year! The Healing Place will save the Athens community far more that it will cost.
The Healing Place of Athens first opened its doors in 1996 and hundreds of Athens’ homeless found hope and recovery from alcohol and addiction in our program. Our program was small and it veered in many ways from the Kentucky model. That model, first implemented in Louisville has been remarkably successful, both in recovery success and in self-sustaining support and resources to grow their services. At the Louisville center, 75% of men who complete the program stay clean and sober. That is a remarkable success rate, and one we believe we can meet in Athens if we replicate the proven Healing Place model.
The Healing Place of Athens will host a meeting of community leaders in January to launch our capital campaign. Meanwhile the Board of Directors is working overtime to develop the feasibility study and identify partners to help us raise the seed money to make this happen. There is a new excitement among all of us at the Healing Place of Athens! Please join us as we go forward?
Richard F. Daniels
Board of Directors