There's a waiting list, about three months at the moment. While you are waiting, you are expected to call in as often as possible. That's one way they know you are serious.
Boggs said he called every day for two weeks before he got in. He had been everywhere, even the Betty Ford Clinic, the best that money could buy, he said. But it didn't matter, because he wasn't ready. Besides, there is a difference between a pricey rehab center that in some ways has to cater to the client and family and a group of fellow recovering addicts who don't.
The Healing Place does not charge a fee. It is funded by grants and donations. It costs $32.50 per man per day. A stay at Highland Hospital by contrast, an unnecessary level of care for these men, is at least $250 a day. Regional jail costs $48.65 a day.
"This is a bargain," Hansen said.
Boggs is a 2012 graduate. Now he works on expanding The Healing Place from 35 beds to 100. At that point, he expects the cost to drop to $25 a day. They are working to raise an additional $360,000 to complete an upper floor they created in the old gymnasium.
More than 375 men have entered since it opened. Some went through detox and just left. Of the 60 who completed the program, 39 are still sober and almost all of those are employed, a success rate of 65 percent. Success rates for rehab centers are notoriously difficult to pin down. Addicts often need more than one go before they hit the right program at the right time and really start to change. This is a marvelous rate by any comparison.
Thirty-nine people who are no longer killing themselves with alcohol and drugs? Thirty-nine people newly employed or employable? Or mending their families and relationships? Thirty-nine reclaimed fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, friends, taxpayers? Thirty-nine and counting.
"There's a hidden workforce in this state who are languishing because we're not giving them the tools they need," Hansen said. "We've got to tap into that potential."
The Healing Place exists on donations. Cash is always needed, but Boggs said they also welcome men's clothes, men's toiletry items, towels, twin sheets and standard pillowcases, blankets, paper towels and cleaning supplies. Donors may call 304-523-4673 for information. The Huntington Area Food Bank aids them in getting food, so donations there also help The Healing Place.Miller, the Gazette's editorial page editor, can be reached at d...@wvgazette.com.