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Shepherd’s House helps inmates help the community

Shepherd’s House, the day treatment drug program created by Mercer and Boyle Counties, is growing.

The program started in March with 20 clients. At the beginning of April, Shepherd’s House added another 20 clients. They expect to add another 20 in May.

Even though about half of the clients hail from Mercer County, most of their community service projects are in Boyle County.

“I don’t think Mercer County is aware of the need for community support,”  said Shannon Gillespie, the program director at Shepherd’s House. “This is just a huge community outreach and resource.”

“We have the same stuff going on in Mercer County,”  said Gillespie, a resident of Harrodsburg. She is working to correct that imbalance. She’s connected with the Mercer County Chamber of Commerce and will give a talk to Mercer County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy.

Mercer County Judge-Executive Milward Dedman said local officials planned to make use of Shepherd’s House clients at the recycling center and the animal shelter.

Dedman called the day treatment program an attempt to combat the “horrific” drug epidemic in Mercer and Boyle Counties.

Shepherd’s House is also meant to alleviate overcrowding at the Boyle County Detention Center. On Tuesday morning, the population was 345 at BCDC. The jail was designed to house 220 inmates.

“We’re trying to help people cure their addiction and become proper citizens and at the same time reduce the population at the jail,” Dedman said.

To learn more, pick up this week’s issue of The Harrodsburg Herald.

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