Thousands of Kentuckians experience homelessness each year. Many of them are "chronically homeless," meaning they remain homeless for extended or repeated periods of time, often due to chemical dependency and other special needs. While the chronically homeless only represent a fraction of the homeless population, they consume over 50 percent of homeless resources.
Recovery Kentucky was created to help Kentuckians recover from substance abuse, which often leads to chronic homelessness. There are ten Recovery Kentucky centers across the Commonwealth. They are in Campbellsville, Erlanger, Florence, Harlan, Henderson, Hopkinsville, Morehead, Owensboro, Paducah, and Richmond. These centers provide housing and recovery services for up to 1,000 Kentuckians simultaneously across the state.
These recovery centers were designed to reduce the state’s drug problem and resolve some of the state’s homeless issues. They help people recover from addiction and help them gain control of their lives to eventually reside in permanent housing.
As supportive housing projects, each center uses a recovery program model that includes peer support, daily living skills classes, job responsibilities, and establishes new behaviors.
This type of supportive housing and recovery program is proven to help people who face the most complex challenges to live more stable, productive lives. It has been demonstrated successfully by both the Hope Center in Lexington and The Healing Place in Louisville, which were models for the program, and was named "A Model That Works" by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Without a stable place to live and a support system to help them address their underlying problems, most homeless people who also suffer from substance abuse and addiction bounce around between shelters, public hospitals, prisons, psychiatric institutions, and detoxification centers. Recovery Kentucky was designed to save Kentuckians millions in tax dollars that would have been spent on emergency room visits and jail costs.
Partnerships and Funding
Recovery Kentucky is a joint effort by the Department for Local Government (DLG), the Department of Corrections, and Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC). These agencies developed a financial plan that has provided construction and operational financing, including a $2.5 million annual allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits from KHC, which will generate a total equity investment of approximately $20 million for construction costs. Operational funding includes approximately $4 million from DLG’s Community Development Block Grant program and approximately $3 million from the Department of Corrections.
The local governments and communities at each Recovery Kentucky center location have also contributed greatly in making these centers a reality.
The Recovery Kentucky Task Force was created in 2008 to ensure the continued effectiveness and financial success of this initiative. The Recovery Kentucky Task Force continues to be a positive force in forwarding this important program.