Program Helps Addicts Help Themselves
The Shepherd’s House Day Reporting Program in Danville serves both Mercer and Boyle Counties. And goal is to help addicts learn to help themselves, said Program Director Roger Fox.
Shepherd’s House was selected by Mercer and Boyle Counties to operate a nonresidential substance abuse treatment program in Danville two years ago as a way to ease overcrowding at the Boyle County Detention Center.
Shepherd’s House began as a halfway house in Lexington in 1989, providing a structured and supportive environment for people whose lives had been completely disrupted by addiction. According to their website, their structured program “promotes personal responsibility and accountability for those seeking sustained abstinence from mood and mind-altering substances.”
“We are modeled after their program,” Fox said. “We are here to help people find a job, improve themselves and be an important part of the community.”
Fox’s own life is a Shepherd’s House success story. A recovering addict, Fox struggled through numerous trips through rehab to get clean. He credits the program’s emphasis on preparing addicts for life outside the shelter with helping him stay drug free.
“This isn’t just a rehab program. This is a life building program,” Fox said. “We show people how to be whatever they need to be, whether it is a student, employee or parent.”
But they can’t help anyone who doesn’t want to be helped, he said.
“People say Shepherd’s House has changed their life, I say we change their mind and they change their life,” Fox said.
He said he wished more people would participate. Shepherd’s House has only 22 clients currently—with only two from Mercer County.
One of the program’s biggest successes came from Harrodsburg.
About a year ago, Zachery Thomas, was a 19 year old Mercer County High School dropout who was hooked on methamphetamines, heroin and alcohol. He had been using since age 13 and his addiction had destroyed his family relationships, leaving him homeless.
Mercer County Attorney Ted Dean recommended Thomas be released to Shepherd’s House, but he relapsed almost immediately. Thomas was first referred to Eastern State Hospital for assessment and then he was sent to Shepherd’s House main facility in Lexington.
Thomas’s path to sobriety wasn’t straightforward, but he finally made it. Fox said Thomas graduated Shepherd’s House and is currently living in their graduate housing unit. Thomas works at DV8 Kitchen in Lexington, a restaurant that employs recovering addicts, and is steadily trying to improve himself.
“He’s working on his high school diploma and doing well, helping other people,” Fox said.
For more information on Shepherd’s House, visit shepherdshouseinc.com.
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.