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Addiction recovery is the focus of Heritage House — ‘work therapy’ is approach that makes a difference

By Maridith Yahl
NKyTribune reporter

Jonathan Price, director of Heritage House, remembers in the spring of 2014 when 18 people died in one weekend in Cincinnati from overdoses. That weekend fueled him and other churches to partner together to begin ‘Hope Over Heroin.’

“We had our first-ever event in summer 2014 as a result of that news. We didn’t know what it was going to be,” explains Price, but the partners knew something had to be done.

That first event, a concert in the park, reached over 20,000 people. “We found that the power of that weekend meeting was establishing what we call the ‘City of Resources,’ [it brought] 20 or 30 people that have dedicated their lives to some aspect of addiction recovery,” recounts Price.

Jonathan Price

“In 2015 after we had been doing this about a year and a half, we realized there was an immediate need because the people we were connecting to had to battle with insurance or there were no beds available [for them],” recalls Price. Guys said “I’m ready to get sober, help me,” but Price encountered waiting lists and other barriers to getting the men help.

Having the passion to help, Price decided to do more. That’s when Heritage House was founded.

In December of 2015 Heritage House opened its doors; one of the first to go through the program is now their manager. Today, there are 73 residents in recovery and 15 graduates. Currently serving only men, they plan to add a women’s program as part of their expansion. Most men come from a 50-60 mile radius.

Heritage House is a three-phase spiritual program, Recovery (6 months), Life Training (4 months), and Internship (8 months).

“So they’re really spiritually immersed. I mean it’s just flooded with the presence of God because they’ve never had that before,” shares Price.

“The other piece of this, is just as important, is what we call ‘Work Therapy,’” he said. “And that is really what really funds our program.”

The organization receives no federal or state funding. They are a 501(c)3 non-profit relying on donations. They recently held a fundraiser in Newport at the Syndicate, a first Hope is Here Gala.

We have “50-60 guys in active work therapy. We have businesses that open up space…for guys to do redundant and repetitive tasks. They begin to learn how to work as a team, work in structure, [build] communication skills and hopefully develop some job skills, hand-eye coordination, all of those kinds of things. That business is able to donate back to our ministry. We’re able to fund [the program], provide all their food, they don’t have to pay for anything to be here,” explains Price.

He means absolutely everything is provided.

Residents start the work therapy program as soon as they’re physically able. Heritage House is not a clinical environment explains Price, “but we do have outpatient doctors that we have a connection with that we can take a guy [to]. We’ll pay his copay if he has insurance, we’ll pay out of pocket if he doesn’t have insurance at all.”

Case management is also provided. Getting the residents signed up for health insurance is done right away. The help residents navigate through court, get them to probation meetings, work, and make sure they are continuing wellness and clinical care with physicians.

Heritage House has an open-door policy, once you’re there you are family. With that, they are able to stay as long as needed, as long as they’re working fulltime. Price explains the challenge, “We have got to create a community of accountability that allows them to know that you have hope.” They know it’s difficult right after a recovery program to be able to get a car, pay a deposit for a living space, or pay child support. Price wants the men to know Heritage House is there to help for the long term, not just through recovery.

Anyone with addiction, whether it be to drugs or alcohol is welcome. “But if someone is just homeless, forgotten, or broken off from society but wanted to change, we say Heritage House can change your life for the good. If you want to come in, we’re here for the broken too,” Price said.

You can help. Heritage House needs monetary donations to continue the exceptional amount of care and support they provide. Vehicle donations are welcome; they can be given to a graduate or sold for a profit. Their Work Therapy Program needs business partners to provide these men a place to work.

To make a donation or find out more about this program, visit the City On A Hill or Heritage House website.

“We’ve been a great bridge to the broken to get help, to get reestablished in society and realize they’re worth something, that they can live in excellence, that they can pursue their dreams, they can get reunited with their family,” Price says with a smile.

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