Volunteers of America breaks ground on VOA Recovery addiction recovery facility, expansion project

With opioid use at epidemic levels, Volunteers of America knows that we must do more now to fight the battle against addiction. As part of our commitment to ending the cycle of addiction in our community, on April 13, we broke ground on a multi-million dollar expansion and renovation of a building on 2nd Street in Louisville, beginning work that will be home to our integrated addiction treatment and recovery services for men, women, their children and whole families.

Volunteers of America President and CEO Jennifer Hancock was joined by government leaders, including Congressman John Yarmuth, key community partners and clients and graduates of their current addiction recovery programs at the groundbreaking ceremony.

"Right now, virtually every family across our community is being affected in some way by a growing addiction crisis. Almost everyone has a friend, neighbor or family member who has felt the pain and struggle of addiction. At Volunteers of America, we are committed to being a leading part of the solution to the heroin and opioid epidemic, and this new facility will empower us to expand our service and fulfill that mission," Hancock said

The alarming growth of opioid and heroin used has led to a dramatic increase in overdoses in Louisville. Emergency Medical Services answered 695 overdose calls in January — an average of 22 a day. In one 36-hour period in mid-February, EMS responded to 52 overdose-related calls. A recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report detailed the increased death rate for younger Kentuckians and attributed the increase to overdoses and drug abuse.

"By breaking ground today and investing in a state-of-the-art facility for comprehensive, integrated addiction recovery services, we are answering the call to help stop this epidemic. We cannot arrest and incarcerate our way out of this problem. We need to treat addiction as a public health crisis and give people in Kentucky the tools they need to stop," Hancock said.

The new facility on 2nd Street is the result of a six million dollar capital campaign that will fund the purchase, renovations and expansion of the building. It will also provide an endowment for Volunteers of America to ensure long-term sustainability. The expanded services will all be part of VOA Recovery, which will encompass all of Volunteers of America's new addiction recovery services. Read more about our renovation and expansion plans.

"Today we are not only announcing a groundbreaking and an expansion, but also a new name for our range of comprehensive addiction services throughout Louisville: VOA Recovery," Hancock said.

"We want to give a clear focus to our addiction recovery services. VOA Recovery will describe our integrated, state-of-the-art addiction recovery services across a range of locations serving a range of populations. If you want to stop using today – if you are ready for freedom now from addiction – you can count on VOA Recovery to be there for you," Hancock said.

The 2nd Street Facility will double the capacity of Freedom House, Volunteers of America's addiction recovery facility for pregnant and parenting women. The current Freedom House facility at the Shelby Street Clinical Campus regularly has a lengthy waiting list. The new facility will also house residential treatment programs, intensive outpatient programs and a counseling center.

Kosair Charities is a major donor to the campaign. Kosair Board of Directors Chairman Jerry Ward attended the groundbreaking and highlighted Volunteers of America's commitment to helping children and parents who are struggling with addiction.

"At Kosair Charities, we work every day to help children in need, and we work just as hard to find community partners who share our dedication to children. Volunteers of America's Freedom House program is a great partner in our mission to invest in healthier, happier futures for all children. An expanded Freedom House means more healthy moms who deliver healthy babies. I'm pleased that Kosair Charities is an essential partner in this very worthy effort to give every kid a great start," Ward said.

The groundbreaking on the new 2nd Street facility is part of a major expansion of Volunteers of America's addiction recovery services. We are also providing comprehensive services in West Louisville in the California, Chickasaw, Parkland and Shawnee neighborhoods. At 2500 W. Broadway, the Volunteers of America facility is now providing Intensive Outpatient Services, including individual, family and group therapy, aftercare services, targeted case management and psychiatric care.

Next month, Volunteers of America will open an additional addiction recovery and treatment facility at 4303 W. Broadway in West Louisville, which will also provide Intensive Outpatient Services as well as transitional housing for women struggling with addiction.

"Our commitment extends far beyond this facility. It extends to every part of Louisville. No neighborhood is immune to this problem, and no neighborhood should be left behind," Hancock said.

Amy Kalber, a graduate of Freedom House who is now working toward her clinical social work degree, spoke about her experience and the need for additional addiction recovery services for families and children.

"When I came to Volunteers of America, I was lost. My time at Freedom House gave me hope for a better life and gave my kids hope for the future. I know that help from Volunteers of America can mean the difference between addiction and freedom, and I'm thrilled that this expansion will allow Volunteers of America to serve even more moms and babies," Kalber said.

See more images from this event.

Visit voamid.org/supportus to learn more about VOA Recovery and join us in our fight against addiction today.