In 2001, Ms. Bobbi Jo Reed, herself a recovering alcoholic, purchased a single residence home in the historic (but currently downtrodden and crime riddled) northeast section of Kansas City with the goal of providing transitional housing for up to ten women following completion of inpatient substance abuse treatment. As a former addict and alcoholic, Ms. Reed understood the many challenges recovering substance abusers face as they transition back into meaningful roles in society.
Just two years later, in 2003, Ms. Reed founded Healing House, Inc. predicate on the fundamental belief that the surest way to life-long recovery is through exposure to, and active participation in a safe, spiritually-centered home environment focused on individual and group support in which opportunities to build and restore healthy relationships would be available. At the time Ms. Reed founded Healing House, there were approximately 900 women in Kansas City undergoing inpatient treatment but only 24 residential beds available to these women following treatment.
In the ensuing decade since its formal inception, Healing House, Inc. has markedly expanded its scale and reach. Under Ms. Reed’s leadership, Healing House has now purchased and refurbished six vacant homes - several of which were former drug houses - into safe, sober homes for both men and women. Healing House also owns/rents two apartment buildings, where families can be restored and parents reunited with their children. Each year, Healing House provides services and programs for nearly 300 individuals. Transitional housing is currently available for up to 110 adults and 25 children in the same historic northeast Kansas City neighborhood where the first residence was established. This area - once riddled with drug dealing, prostitution, and gang violence - is rapidly being transformed into a safe and protective neighborhood through the joint effort of Healing House, numerous volunteers, and like-minded residents. Programs and Services
Recovery Support Program
The Substance Abuse Recovery Program addresses the threefold nature of addiction - physical, mental/emotional and spiritual - through a variety of voluntary and mandatory meetings and support groups as well as professional counseling service. All Healing House clients must attend a once weekly mandatory Healing House community meeting and recovery meeting. Clients are urged to participate in additional recovery and spiritual support groups including: morning meditations; a Bible study; two Alcoholics Victorious meetings, which address the Spiritual 12-Step Program; Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered recovery meeting; an Alpha Course Bible study for beginner Christians; a Relapse Prevention meeting; a church service; and two 12-Step Recovery meetings. Individuals who have maintained sobriety for a long period of time sponsor (coach/mentor) newcomers as they walk through the Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous 12-Step program. Professional pastoral counseling (one-on-one spiritual guidance) and soul healing (individualized counseling sessions aimed at breaking down spiritual barriers to recovery) are available twice weekly.
Transitional Housing Program
Healing House provides housing for up to 110 adults through three men’s homes, three women’s homes and two multi-family units. Through Access to Recovery - a recovery support grant program - eligible clients may receive up to seven weeks of rental assistance. Following this period, beds and apartment units are rented at weekly and monthly rates.
Healing House provides more than shelter. Food, clothing and hygiene products are available through our faith-based, safe homes. New arrivals are required to live in highly structured homes; as they progress in their recovery trajectory they transition to homes or family-friendly apartments providing increasing degrees of freedom and responsibility. Trained house managers oversee each home and conduct weekly meetings to build community and address household needs and resident concerns.
Healing House directors and house managers provide guidance to clients as they develop or re-develop home, personal care, life-management and budgeting skills. Because each client must provide one meal for the entire Healing House community (averaging between 80 and 90 clients) every six weeks; they receive training in proper grocery shopping and meal preparation. In addition, breathalyzer and urinalysis tests are conducted as needed in order to uphold a drug- and alcohol-free environment.
Education and Employment Program Goals
The Education and Employment Program helps clients overcome the employment barriers face by many individuals in recovery, enabling them to become self-sufficient, productive members of society by equipping them with essential job skills, valuable work experience, and employment seeking services. Clients are equipped clients for the job field and receive assistance in gaining employment. During their first 30 days at Healing House, clients are required to log 15 hours of community service weekly. This initial work experience offers a gradual reintroduction to labor and helps instill work ethic.
Training and testing for high school equivalency (HSE) certificates are available through an on-site computer lab for any Healing House clients who are lacking their high school diploma or HSE certificate. In addition, the computer lab is staffed once weekly to help unemployed clients gain essential computer skills, build professional resumes, job search, and prepare for successful job interviews.
Partial implementation of Healing House’s new Employment Program has begun, providing month long, hands-on skill building sessions for Healing House clients seeking employment but needing to build essential job skills. Currently, two retired teachers voluntarily conduct once weekly skill-building sessions focused on essential job skills. Once fully implemented, the Employment Program will provide on-the-job training and experience through three Healing House for-profit businesses.
Healing House, Inc. is committed to accomplish its mission identified by the following specific goals:
1. To make time-proven recovery resources readily available for all Healing House clients.
2. To provide transitional housing for recovery addicts and alcoholics; creating a safe, faith-based, community-focused home environment where clients can focus on recovery.
3. To equip recovering addicts with the necessary life skills that will allow them to become self-sufficient, productive members of society.