Federal government helps to create addiction recovery housing in rural areas
PADUCAH — In Kentucky, thousands of people do not have a place to call home and drugs may be part of the problem.
Kentucky’s annual homeless count found the second largest number of homeless people were going through substance abuse. The state of Kentucky has launched several programs to combat this issue, including Recovery Kentucky — created to help Kentuckians recover from substance abuse, which often leads to chronic homelessness.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Department and the Department of Health and Human Services are partnering to create addiction recovery transitional housing in rural communities.
Jimmy Lindsey lives in addiction recovery transitional housing at Centerpoint Recovery Center for Men in Paducah. Centerpoint is a part of Recovery Kentucky.
A year and a half ago, Lindsey was walking through prison doors.
“I put myself into situations to where no one can let me live with them or stay with them, because they fear for their safety and they like to keep all their valuable things. And if I’m around, that’s not something that happens,” said Lindsey, a Centerpoint caseworker and recovering alcoholic.
Now, the 20-year-old walks into his own home with a roommate who is also a graduate of Centerpoint. He couldn’t go back to his rural community and live with his grandparents.
“There’s not really much options for work and things like that,” he said.
The program is targeted to create homes for people struggling with opioid addictions. Nonprofit organizations with experience in addiction recovery are eligible for the program. The USDA Rural Development Department would offer single home properties that non-profits could buy from the USDA and then turn into transitional housing.
Lindsey has been through multiple recovery programs, and he says the transitional housing has helped him.
Centerpoint has four apartments with two rooms each for transitional housing that offer independence for the men while keeping them connected to the center.
“I’ve got my rent I’ve got to pay, and I still get drug test here,” Lindsey said,.
They serve a total of 100 men at a time for treatment at their center.
Site administrator Thelma Hunter said leaving the center and transitioning to life outside those walls is hard.
“People in recovery they have to learn everything again,” Hunter said. “They can’t go back to their same people places and things, so many times they have to start over if they are going to be successful.”
A two-year study by the University of Kentucky’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research show that 38% of people who entered Recover Kentucky programs were homeless and 50% couldn’t meet basic living needs. Six months after the program, only 2% of those people were homeless, and only 18% couldn’t meet basic living needs.
Hunter said having a place to stay with people on the same journey is a step in the right direction.
Lindsey said he knows what environments will get him back to his old ways. “If I want to be right back in the spot I was when I got here, I know where to go and [what to] do,” he said.
For more information contact Weldon Freeman at 202-690-1384 or visit the department’s website.
Correction: In a previous version we incorrectly reported the USDA was offering grants and loans for addiction recovery transitional housing. The USDA is not offering grants or loans they are offering properties for qualified non-profits to purchase.