A faith-based addiction recovery program in Owensboro broke ground on a new residence for women this week.
The new facility being built by the group “Friends of Sinners” is in response to a growing demand in the region.
Friends of Sinners Executive Director Joe Welsh says the group already operates five residential sites for men and women in Daviess County. He says there’s been a trend since the group opened its first women’s residence in 2011.
“One of the things that we’ve noticed in Owensboro, in Daviess County, is that there’s a big need for beds for women. We just wanted to target that and try to increase the number of beds Owensboro has for ladies.”
The new residence will house 12 women when it opens next summer. It’s one definite, but small, step in confronting Kentucky’s drug addiction crisis that kills about 1,000 people in the state each year. That crisis is reflected in communities across the state.
Friends of Sinners was formed in 2009 and has served about 500 men and women since its inception. Welsh says the five residential treatment centers currently have a total of 40 residents and the waiting list for the program is longer than ever.
“Locally and statewide, Kentucky is doing a great job making a stand against this and fighting against this, and we are proud to be part of that,” said Welsh. “But at the end of the day, we are fighting a fight that is an extremely hard fight and substance abuse isn’t going away.”
The beginning of construction on the new treatment facility in Owensboro comes in the same week the U.S. Surgeon General estimates that 20 million people in the U.S. are living with a substance abuse disorder.