It Begins In Kentucky
Mira and Don Ball
The Fletcher Group’s roots go back over two decades to the construction in 1993 of a novel shelter built for homeless women in Lexington, Kentucky by philanthropists Don and Mira Ball. The effectiveness of the Ball’s “Hope Center” in addressing the underlying causes of homelessness, including addiction, intrigued Ernie Fletcher when he was elected governor of Kentucky ten years later.
Having previously served three terms in the United States House of Representatives, Fletcher was familiar with the workings of federal and state government agencies that typically operate independently of each other. Atuned to the devastation being caused by the opioid epidemic, Fletcher realized the value not only of what the Balls had done in building and operating Hope Center, but what they had learned in doing so.
Fletcher soon appointed Don Ball Chairman of the Kentucky Housing Corporation. Within a year, their new Recovery Kentucky program had acquired the partners and resources needed to construct the state’s first Recovery Center.
Seventeen more centers would eventually be built, each applying the innovative “Blended Funding” business model developed by Ernie, Don and Mira. To fund both construction and day-to-day operating costs, that approach solicits and coordinates funding and resources from a wide variety of private and public entities as well as faith-based initiatives and the private sector.
Fletcher’s tenure as governor would eventually end, but not his desire to help the homeless, particularly those suffering from substance use disorders. The Balls felt the same way and in 2017 invited Ernie to lead a national effort to extend their successful model beyond Kentucky to states across the nation.
Thus was born the Fletcher Group and a vision of effective and sustainable Recovery housing unlike any other.
For more information about Don Ball, click Don Ball Bio.
For more information about Ernie Fletcher, click Ernie Fletcher.
For more information about the Recovery Kentucky program they launched together, click Recovery Kentucky.