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A new hope for Taylor County

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By Calen McKinney

 

If you build it, they will come.

The old saying will hold true, I'm sure, for two new homes in Taylor County, The House of Hope and J&W's House of Hope. You can read about the homes on today's front page.

The concept is simple - a handful of residents got together and are turning two houses into transitional homes for those who have battled drug addiction.

It's a place for them to go after completing drug treatment, two being Taylor County Drug Court and The Healing Place. The homes will give their inhabitants just what their names say - hope.

I know only very few people today who don't know someone who has battled drug addiction. How great is it that a few Taylor County residents have banned together and are working to help those who are drug-free and want to stay that way?

Billy Gregory, a public affairs officer for the Kentucky State Police, recently spoke at Taylor Regional Hospital's Learning & Resource Center about drug abuse in the community. And what I took from his talk is that illegal drugs won't go anywhere, as long as there are people willing to break the law to make money.

Something Gregory said during his talk stuck with me. "We have to collectively work to solve the problem. We've got to work together as a community," he said.

And that's exactly what's happening at The House of Hope and J&W's House of Hope. People are coming together to do something about the problem.

Those who come to stay at the transitional homes must sign an agreement and abide by some rules. They will attend a weekly community meeting and submit to random drug tests whenever asked. Mentors will help the residents re-integrate back into society and provide support when their addictions feel like so heavy.

Great work is happening in Taylor County to help people. From drug court to The Healing Place to Green River Ministries, there are people willing to reach out to those who are struggling. It's great to see, and I'm glad to be able to tell our readers about what's happening.

Despite losing the majority of its funding last year, GRM has rebounded. Read a story about GRM's efforts on today's front page. And while you're reading, I hope you will decide to pitch in and help with GRM and the houses of hope.

There are people struggling in Taylor County, whether it's from not having a home to fighting their illegal drug habit. Some people are shy about asking for help, and I hope they realize just how many people out there want them to succeed.

Leslie Carver wants to help those who don't have a home find one. Dawn Cox-Neal and her husband, Bryan, and the Rev. James and Wanda Washington want to help men who have kicked their drug habits. And to all of them, my hat's off.

It takes a special person to put others' needs ahead of their own. And it takes a lot of hope. Now, we have two houses for all that hope.