Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

October 2, 2013

Recovery Center eying Grayson

by Carrie Stambaugh

OCT. 2, 2013 —

A drug and alcohol addiction recovery center originally proposed for Boyd County may locate in Carter County instead.

The move follows public outcry in Boyd County over a proposal to locate the 100-bed facility for men near a residential area.  

Pathways officials confirmed last week that they are now eyeing a site within the city of Grayson for the Genesis Recovery Kentucky Center.

A meeting took place last Tuesday between Pathways officials and the Grayson Planning and Zoning Commission to ensure the project would meet existing city codes.

The Journal-Times reported last week that zoning officials gave the property, located near K-Mart and Smithfield Foods, its stamp of approval. Pathways and Recovery Kentucky officials are now set to attend Grayson City Council at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 8, to discuss the project, said Pathways CEO Kim McClanahan.

“It is not a done deal yet,” she said. “We have located a property, it does meet zoning and we are just going through the next steps. The developers are working with the property owners.”

Recovery Kentucky is a joint effort of the Department for Local Government, the Department for Corrections and the Kentucky Housing Corporation, which began under former Governor Ernie Fletcher’s administration.

The facility would serve 100 adult men, using a four-phase recovery model based on the 12 steps.  

The Genesis facility is among four new centers being planned across the state. Currently, there are 10 Recovery Kentucky centers statewide.

According to Carter County Judge-Executive Charles Wallace, Fiscal Court officials endorsed the Genesis project in a special meeting Friday.

“I think the need in this county is for a treatment and rehab center. I’m just glad to see it is coming here,” Wallace said.

 In addition to county support, McClanahan said they agency must have support from city officials, too. The proposed $8 million facility will be funded in part by federal Community Development Block Grant funds, which must be administered through a local government.

Pathways officials found the Grayson site after public outcry in Boyd County over a site along U.S. 60 near the Cedar Knoll subdivision. 

Boyd Fiscal Court told Pathways if another location was not found, it would block the vital CDBG funding.

McClanahan said Pathways officials looked at 39 alternative sites in Boyd County before considering the Carter County site. It was also invited to consider property in Greenup County, she said.

“Everyone we looked at that was acceptable to the Boyd Fiscal Court and the community just didn’t meet the criteria,” said McClanahan. “They were too expensive or they didn’t have the access to services. We truly searched high and low and everybody that called us we followed up with.”

If the Grayson site is approved soon, construction could still begin in February with the facility set to open in early 2015.

“We are moving as quickly as the wheels of the public allow,” said McClanahan.

She said although the Boyd County property no longer seems like a viable site for the project, the developer continues to have an option on it.

The address of the property is still being used to process an application for funding, McClanahan said. “Until there is another site that the developer has an option on this option will remain.”

There is no planning or zoning in Boyd County that would prohibit the center from being built on the site. However, McClanahan said officials want and need public support.

Response to the possible Grayson location has been positive so far, she said.  Pathways, she said, has a long history in Carter County including as a partner in the highly successful efforts of the Carter County Drug Free Coalition.  

“This is a good thing, it will be good for the community,” McClanahan said. “I truly believe that and I think we will show that.”

Grayson residents have yet to weigh in on the project publicly other than comments on social media sites including Facebook.

Based on a thread posted to a Facebook page hosted by the citizens action group, Carter County Citizens for A Better Way, reactions were mixed.

Recovery Kentucky centers provide treatment at no cost to clients, who are referred into the program via a variety of means.

To qualify, clients must be at least 18 years of age, male and homeless or marginally housed with a history of addiction.

Clients must have no history of sexual misconduct or violent behavior or an uncontrolled mental illness. They must be able to physically participate in the program, be capable of living in a group environment and not have had any court dates within 30 days.

A typical Recovery Kentucky client resides in the facility for a period of nine to 12 months with a maximum stay of two years.

During that time, clients move through four phases of the program that incorporates a social model of recovery, peer support, accountability, daily living skills, job responsibilities and practical living experiences.

Up to 60 beds are reserved for clients referred through the Department of Corrections. According to Pathways, the facility is staffed full-time seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Clients are regularly drug tested and have a dress code, nightly curfew and are required to work at the facility, as well as attend classes and meetings.