MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — An amassing drug problem in Madison County and a public, private partnership is leading to the creation of a rehab facility for men in Richmond.
Karen Steinhauser and John Telek with non-profit For Such a Time as This Rescue Center Inc.
Both have a personal connection to drug and alcohol addiction.
"I'm in my 50s now, and in my teenage years, my early 20s, I had my own drug and alcohol issues. I was in and out of jail and God really put this on my heart of how much a male facility was needed here in Madison County," said Steinhauser.
Steinhauser brought her vision for a 100-bed facility with a 12 step program to Richmond Mayor Blythe. He says when that happened, it was a godsend.
"It was one of those things that I call, click. It's something you've been thinking about for some time but you weren't exactly sure what to do. You weren't sure if anybody else had any interest. I can come up with ideas, but sometimes I'm not exactly sure how to implement them," said Blythe.
They met regularly thereafter and he was able to connect them with a site that fit their needs.
"I'm in a place where I can facilitate, and it takes a team to undertake something like this. And so God is putting the pieces together for this team," said Blythe.
To put just how bad the drug problem is into perspective, the closest rehab center for me is 25 miles away in Lexington.
So far this year there have been 36 drug overdoses. That's more than half of the 59 reported last year in 2020.
The Madison County Coroner Jimmy Cornelison says it's on track to be a rough year.
Madison County Jailer Steve Tussey agrees that the problem is bad. He says Madison County has around 500 inmates and some are housed in other counties. The fee for that is $1 million a year.
Tussey added that their facility is housed with 75-80% drug-related charges and is at capacity.
That's why Mayor Blythe says this rehab facility is so needed.
"I believe that saying that when the tide rises it lifts all ships, all boats. And as an individual's life is made better, the total community's life is made better," said Blythe.
Those admitted to the rehab will receive mentorship, complete community service, and be provided with work placements so that they have an avenue to reenter society.
"We can't save everybody. But we're going to do our part, just like the mayor said, we're going to do everything that we can, and if we saved one, it would be worth it to me," said Steinhauser.
They estimate the project will cost around half a million and are still accepting donations.
If you are interested in finding out more information, contact For Such a Time as This. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org