Governor Ernie Fletcher announced today “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; substance abuse is a growing problem in our state. Substance abuse destroys families and careers. It impacts jails, classrooms, health care, and our economy. In fact, studies indicate that substance addiction is one of the leading causes of homelessness in this state.
“We are engaging in a new strategy to overcome substance abuse in Kentucky with the establishment of housing recovery centers. The centers will house and provide rehabilitation 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 executive director of the Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) and executive director of the Kentucky League of Cities, said she and the ODCP are excited about the plan to provide more help to those who want to stop abusing substances and take back their lives.
"Housing recovery centers can be a significant component of the state's
approach to tackling the drug problem," Lovely said. "These centers will help women and men recover from addiction, find permanent housing and help them gain control of their lives so they can be productive citizens of their communities.
"This program is a clear example of the administration's commitment to
this problem," she said. "It fits with the recommendation from the governor's Statewide Drug Control Assessment and the Office of Drug Control Policy's plan to better address and reduce the drug problem in the Commonwealth."
Recovery Kentucky is a joint effort by the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD), the Department of Corrections, and Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC). These agencies have developed a financial plan that includes gap financing and a $2.5 million allocation of housing tax credits from KHC to cover 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 comes through the redirection of existing funds. One-third of the residents in the housing recovery centers will be referrals from the Department of Corrections.
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 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 homelessness, or be referred by the judicial system.
The goal is to ensure a housing recovery center in each of Kentucky’s six Congressional districts.
How to Apply
Communities that want to apply for funding of a housing recovery center will do so through the CDBG program at GOLD and KHC. These two agencies will work together on funding decisions and site selections through a detailed application process. KHC will provide training on Recovery Kentucky in late January. The CDBG program will provide training at their annual program guidelines workshop scheduled for March 2005.