Where It All Began

The “Recovery Ecosystem” model was formulated first in Kentucky through unprecedented multi-agency teamwork and a partnership-wide eagerness to think outside the box.

In The Beginning

The Recovery Kentucky project began in 2005 as a joint effort by three state agencies led by Kentucky Housing Corporation Chairman Don Ball: The Kentucky Department for Local Government (DLG), the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC), and the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC).


From the beginning, Recovery Kentucky applied a “peer-driven” approach with individuals given a safe place to live for up to 24 months during the first critical stages of recovery towards sobriety and self-sufficiency. Treatment programs are administered by a staff of professionals assisted by Peer Mentors whose prior experience in the recovery program often prove invaluable.

Breaking The Cycle

Recovery Kentucky has been remarkably effective in returning substance abuse victims and others to the community as productive, self-sufficient, tax-paying, and law-abiding members of society. The program has shown that cycles of welfare dependency can indeed be broken, individual lives can be rebuilt, and families can be re-united and invigorated. Eighteen recovery centers have been built so far.

Meeting Clients Where They’re At

When it comes to effective treatment, a “Cookie-Cutter Approach” simply doesn’t work. In everything we do, we want to first find out:

  • What does the individual want?
  • What has the individual tried in the past?
  • What was the individual’s response to past interventions?

Only when those questions are fully and truthfully answered is it safe to proceed with a treatment program suited to each individual client.

Community As Method

Recovery Kentucky applies a “Community As Method” approach that promotes active participation in group living to drive individual change and goal attainment. Recovery housing is combined with structured education overseen by a professional staff assisted by peer mentors and peer role models. Community meetings among participants are guided by the evolving psycho-educational guidelines first developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) programs which have been more recently integrated into what is now commonly referred to as “Recovery Dynamics.”



Start-Up Fully Paid With No Mortgage

Through strategic use of tax credits, Recovery Kentucky was able to open each of it 18 recovery centers as completely paid for facilities, without a mortgage.  For construction, the Kentucky Housing Corporation provided each project with funding from Low Income Tax Credits, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and HOME Investment Partnership loans. All three programs are administered by Kentucky Housing. In addition, several projects received funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, plus substantial contributions from local communities and governments as shown in the following table.


Sustainable Operating Funds

The centers’ operating budgets are funded through a collaboration of the Department for Local Government and the Department of Corrections (DOC), Housing Authority Section 8, and services money received from the Community Development Block Grant program, with per diems paid for clients referred from the DOC. 


Housing Costs

The Kentucky Housing Corporation and two other local housing agencies administer project-based vouchers to the centers for semi-private rooms, providing an HUD subsidy to clients meeting the low- to no-income requirement. These funds help cover the costs of running the program, maintaining building upkeep, and paying for repairs.

Taxpayer Savings

Savings come in numerous forms, particularly in the dollars that would have otherwise been spent on emergency room visits, clinic visits, psychiatric counseling, shelters, and jail services. As a result, each of the 18 centers is estimated save taxpayers between $1 and $2 million.

Just as important to public health and effective government is the release to the community of self-sufficient, tax-paying, and law-abiding citizens. Families are given the opportunity to re-unite and cycles of dependency on welfare are broken.


  • Appalachian Regional Commission–Tasked with POWER Grant recommendations and administration
  • State and Local Health Departments–Tasked with promoting collaboration and support for early intervention
  • Operation UNITE–Founded by Congressman Hal Rogers, host of “Rx Summit,” the nation’s largest annual opioid and Rx drug conference
  • Kentucky Community Technical College System–Oversees the state’s distance learning and workforce development
  • State Housing Authorities–Instrumental in providing sustainable financing (LIHTC, Section 8, etc.)
  • Criminal Justice System—Including corrections, parole, probation, and drug courts
  • FAHE – Oversees the financial analysis and development of capital funding for recovery center construction
  • HRSA—Health Resources and Services Administration
  • University of Kentucky Center for Drug and Alcohol Research
  • Kentucky Injury Prevention Center (KIPRC)
  • NIDA Healing Communities Grant
  • Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  • SOAR—Shaping Our Appalachian Region

Outcome Reports

For more about the Recovery Kentucky program, feel free to peruse these Recovery Center Outcome Study (RCOS) documents: the 2023 RCOS Fact Sheet, the 2023 RCOS Findings at a Glance, and the 2023 RCOS Annual Report.

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