EMMALENA (Knott County), KY (September 14, 2015) — Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear joined Kentucky River Community Care (KRCC) leadership and staff, along with several other special guests, in a ribbon-cutting event Thursday for the Hickory Hill Recovery Center, one of 15 recovery centers across the state working to reduce substance abuse and homelessness issues.
The Hickory Hill Recovery Center can house up to 100 men recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. In addition to the Center’s programs, which are designed to help the men turn their lives around, Hickory Hill offers dorm areas and apartments to participants who are often homeless prior to arrival.
“Substance abuse is something that touches everybody’s family. All of us know someone who has been stricken by this disease,” said First Lady Jane Beshear. “But we have a chance with places like this to change those people’s lives, which changes everybody’s lives. It makes your community a safer, more productive place.”
KRCC Board Chairman Jim McDannel suggested to First Lady Beshear that a recovery center for women should one day be built in the region.
“Hickory Hill represents a strong step forward for us and for the region,” McDannel said. “It’s a place for people to regain health, and it’s an important partner in the community’s economic well-being.”
Referred to as a “critically needed facility” by Knott County Judge-Executive Zach Weinberg, the opening of Hickory Hill, which welcomed its first patient in December 2014, comes at a crucial time when Eastern Kentucky finds itself listed as having one of the nation’s highest rates of prescription drug abuse.
First Lady Beshear said the recovery center has received strong community support and expressed confidence in the program’s ability to continue to grow and save lives.
“Since the first center opened in 2007, over 12,000 men and women have received services through Recovery Kentucky,” she said. “It (the program) works. It changes lives.”
Recovery Kentucky is a joint effort by the Department for Local Government, Department of Corrections, and Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) to build recovery centers across the state. As supportive housing developments, each center will use a recovery program model that includes peer support, daily living skills training, job preparation, and motivation to practice sober living.
Hickory Hill is run by KRCC, which provides programs and services to people struggling with mental health and addiction problems in the 8-county, Kentucky River region.
“Hickory Hill is one more light on the pathway of those seeking a more productive and meaningful life,” said KRCC CEO Mary Meade-McKenzie. “The Center is a shining example of our great leaders, spearheaded by First Lady Jane Beshear, developing an idea and a community embracing the possibility of hope.”
For more information on Hickory Hill, please call the Center at 606-785-0141 or visit. The recovery center is located at 100 Recovery Way in Emmalena, KY.
Mindy Miller is a multimedia writer for Community Care Development and Management, Inc. (CCDM), the management company for KRCC, located in Jackson, Ky.