Facts about bring a sober living home to Boone County

Dear Editor,

Almost everyone in our community has been affected in some way or another with addiction.

Maybe you have struggled yourself with the overwhelming temptation or maybe one of your close family members has wrestled with addiction. After experiencing the heart ache that is attached to this epidemic we wanted to help. So in 2012 the churches in our community began to come together to pray.

Often on Saturday when we met, we would hear the saddening news of an overdose and another life taken too sudden. After years of praying we began traveling the state to help in any way we could.

We visited Sober Living home facilities, Detox facilities and Recovery homes sometimes to pray, sometimes to take people to the homes and sometimes just to see if it worked. We discovered two groups that began this process of helping years prior and we saw the success. Those groups were Lifehouse of Huntington with founder Rocky Meadows and Recovery Group of Southern WV in Logan with founder Pete Browning.

Around this time, Boone County Circuit Judge William Thompson began asking churches to meet on three separate occasions. At that time we were not sure of which direction to take.

We were providing some faith based counseling, but knew this was just the beginning. The Judge asked us to help pull together and suggested a Sober Living Home for the area.

Rocky Meadows of Lifehouse in Huntington is a 7 years clean, former addict who now has 12 houses both men and women’s facilities. Rocky stepped up and offered to help. His 501C3 organization has taken us under their wings and provided us with insight and professional accounting to begin the process.

With this new found hope, some of the local churches began pulling funds together and several recovering former addicts came to speak and share their testimonies of recovery.

We then met with the county commission and expressed our desire to help and our idea for a Sober Living home. We received a letter of approval from the board.

After that we were invited to the City Council meeting in which we were offered to lease the old Haddad Pool of Madison which has not been in operation for around eight years.

We are still in the process of finalizing the idea and we are in need of community participation. We want to let the community know what is happening in hopes they too can see the need in this area.

The plan would bring a Sober Living Home Facility called HERO house acronym for HOPE, Encouragement, Resources, & Opportunity to the area.

A Sober Living Home is a communal living home that offers individuals a group home setting while they begin to overcome substance abuse.

The purpose is to help them continue their journey of sobriety with the adequate support and services to implement the life stability needed for continual substance abuse recovery.

The homes’ residents have made the decision to overcome an addiction, are starting their lives over after incarceration due to criminal behaviors related to drugs and/or alcohol, or have recently completed a certified substance abuse program.

The facility provides an affordable home that is drug and alcohol free so they can fully engage in their sobriety. The operation of the home offers accountability, drug testing, peer awareness, peer support from other residents, and supplementary support to local addiction recovery, alcoholics anonymous, narcotics anonymous, drug court and probation programs.

We do not offer any medical services and refer all residents to the appropriate community services agencies to address their specific medical, financial, psychological, education, job related, and/or recovery related needs.

All participants must be eighteen years or older, committed to a life of sobriety, be drug/alcohol free for a minimum of 24 hours, must not have any current warrants and/or capiases, and must be willing to abide by the regulations and requirements.

The house is unable to provide residency to sex offenders. Hero House focus is to assist individuals in becoming socially responsible after a life of addiction, incarceration and/or irresponsibility. Therefore, we require each person to pay their own way while living in our facilities and receiving our program support.

After visiting Lifehouse homes in Huntington, we found clean facilities and met many residents that were happy for the opportunity to have peers and a support group so they could move forward in their recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction contact www.lifehousewv.com or www.recoveryswv.org for help. Hopefully with community support, we too can offer a home in Boone County.

Thank you,

Richie and Anna Shultz

HERO House Group of Boone County

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