The Healing Place
1030 W. Market St., Louisville, KY 40202, (502) 585-4848
Peer mentoring is the backbone of the Healing Place, Louisville’s largest homeless shelter and addiction recovery center. Such mentoring is likely the key to the program’s astonishing success rate: 65 percent addiction recovery after one year—five times the national average.
The Healing Place offers a Sobering-Up Center for intoxicated homeless persons. Clients earn trust as they progress through detox, beginning their stays in spare rooms with no belongings, then moving up to rooms with closet space, and finally earning spots in dormitory-type rooms. Over time they become Healing Place supervisors, team leaders, and peer mentors, trusted with room and office keys.
Earning those privileges is tied to behavior in a 12-step program, with consequences for infractions meted out by peers. Clients say these sessions help break the cycle of addiction by holding each person accountable for his or her actions.
The center, founded in 1989 by the Jefferson County Medical Society, recognizes addiction as a primary health care issue and a primary issue related to homelessness. It places the burden of work for recovery on the addict, though—not the doctor or counselor.
Alumni are surveyed and tracked after leaving the program. The Healing Place helps recovering clients stay sober and rebuild their lives through job placement as well as assistance with medical and legal issues, housing, and education.
The Healing Place also features a Family Systems and Child Development Program to teach parenting skills and help children of addicted parents understand the disease of addiction.