Elizabeth Orosco Northeast News
Community leaders, elected officials, and neighborhood residents filled the rows of tables inside the old bowling alley on North Elmwood Friday afternoon March 22, to witness the opening of a brand new facility that will, in a few short months, be a space of restoration for hundreds.
Healing House, a faith-based substance use disorder recovery support service that has been a beacon of hope in the Northeast community for nearly 20 years, is expanding its reach to include a Recovery Community Center.
The new facility will allow Healing House to expand capacity by 50 percent, helping to meet the growing need for recovery programming and services. The building has the capacity to seat 300 people for dining and host large meetings. It will also offer increased programming and services to the residents and the community.
The Recovery Community Center (RCC) will provide a comfortable, safe setting for people seeking hope, change, and healthy relationships. It will also offer meetings, programs, and support to allow families to begin healing and will feature a commercial kitchen designed to provide daily, large group meals, as well as a Culinary Arts Program.
Bobbi Jo Reed, Founder of Healing House, said the limited capacity of the current facility results in turning away about 125 people a week, due to lack of space. But she says no one walks away without resources.
“We care,” said Bobbi Jo. “I love the Northeast. I’ve been here for 23 years and I love this community. This was a really high dollar project to do, but this community is worth it and it’s thriving again and we are so excited.”
The RCC will also contain the new RCC Manager’s office, a dedicated counseling and recovery support office, resource library, group meeting rooms, private counseling spaces, a family reunification room, and an education center.
Group meeting rooms will host various addiction recovery and relapse prevention programs provided daily by Healing House. In addition, the RCC will allow the organization to expand their Education Center, providing space and resources for adult learning opportunities, vocational support, and skill building.
Healing House works to provide safe and stable homes for men and women who are committed to overcoming their addiction and becoming responsible, productive, drug and alcohol-free members of society. Healing House provides opportunities for spiritual and personal growth, along with purposeful guidance and support.
The vision for Healing House began in 2001 when the program’s founder, Bobbi Jo Reed, purchased a single residence home in a once blighted section of Kansas City with the goal of providing safe, substance-free, transitional housing for up to ten women. As a former addicted person, she understood the many challenges that people with substance abuse face as they transition back into meaningful roles in society.
In her book, Beautifully Broken, Bobbi Jo Reed describes her journey purchasing her first recovery house and the obstacles she faced in making it a home for other women in need. As the home started to fill up with women in recovery, Bobbi Jo said she knew the home needed a name.
“Someone suggested ‘Bobbi Jo’s House’ and another ‘St. John’s House,’ since we were located on St. John,” Bobbie Jo writes. “But neither of these felt right to me. As I prayed about this, pictures came to mind of women who had been sent to me. They’d walk in with blank, dark, empty eyes, and soon God’s love would become real, and that darkness would be replaced with the light of God’s Spirit. Hope returned; life began to take root. ‘It’s healing,’ I thought. ‘This home is a place for healing.’ So Healing House it became.”
After two years, Healing House became a 501(c)3 and the foundation was built on the fundamental belief that the surest way to life-long recovery is through exposure to, and active participation in a mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally healthy and safe environment that focuses on individual and group support.
Since then, Healing House has renovated 12 homes, 2 apartment buildings, a daycare, and now a former bowling alley. In 2017, Healing House opened a home for pregnant women and new mothers and has since had five drug-free babies born.