Initiative to Help Kentuckians Deal With Substance Abuse Problems That Often Lead to Chronic Homelessness
Frankfort, KY: Governor Ernie Fletcher announced Monday “Recovery Kentucky,” an initiative to help Kentuckians recover from substance abuse that often leads to chronic homelessness.
Governor Fletcher said, “Many of our fellow Kentuckians are in trouble; drug abuse is a growing problem in our state. Drug abuse destroys families and careers. It impacts jails, classrooms, health care, and our economy. In fact, studies indicate that drug addiction is one of the leading causes of homelessness in this state.
“We are engaging in a new strategy to overcome drug abuse in Kentucky with the establishment of housing recovery centers. The centers will house and provide treatment services through recovery to 1,000 homeless, or those at-risk of being homeless, particularly those persons with a history of substance abuse.”
Sylvia Lovely, interim director of the new Office of Drug Control Policy and executive director of the Kentucky League of Cities, said she’s pleased that Governor Fletcher agrees with the recommendations of the Drug Summit Task Force.
“Housing recovery centers can be a major component of the state’s solution to tackling the drug epidemic. These centers will help women and men recover from addiction, find permanent housing if needed, and help them gain control of their lives so they can be productive citizens of their communities,” said Lovely.
Recovery Kentucky is a joint effort by the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD), the Department of Corrections, and the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC). These agencies have developed a financial plan that makes available construction and operational financing which includes a $2.5 million allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (Housing Credits) from KHC for construction costs. Operational funding includes approximately $4 million from GOLD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and approximately $3 million from the Department of Corrections.
The financing package requires no new state dollars – construction funds and CDBG funds are federal dollars and Corrections’ money represents the cost savings derived from this less costly alternative to incarceration. Corrections will finance one-third of the beds in the housing recovery centers to help offenders recover from alcohol and/or drug abuse.
The Housing Recovery Center
Recovery Kentucky’s service-based model is patterned after the education model used successfully at The HOPE Center in Lexington and The Healing Place in Louisville. These centers, like the ones to be constructed, provide shelter and a safe place to recover. The centers also provide peer support, daily living skills training, job responsibilities and challenges to practice sober living.
The centers will be either all female or all male. Residents must make the commitment to overcome their addictions; be over the age of 18 and be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
The goal is to provide a housing recovery center in each of Kentucky’s six Congressional districts.
How to Apply
Organizations and communities* that want to apply for construction and services funding for a housing recovery center will do so through the CDBG program at GOLD and the KHC. Through a cooperative application process, these two agencies will work together on funding decisions and site selections.
The KHC will provide application and program training on Recovery Kentucky in mid-January. The CDBG program will provide training at their annual program guidelines workshop scheduled for March 2005.
* Communities that are recognized as “Entitlement Communities” by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and communities that operate a Section 8 housing program are ineligible for CDBG and KHC rental assistance funds.