KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Kingsport leaders broke ground Friday on “The Slate House,” a group home that will help those recovering from opioid addiction.
According to the CDC, the need for recovery housing has grown in recent years with opioid addiction and related deaths having quadruple nationally since 1999.
The site of a new home in Kingsport on Robertson Street is meant to make a difference and save lives.
“We hope it’s just a stepping stone to get them to a better life,” said Sam Edwards, deputy director of the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
The KHRA says a bridge is needed between recovery and a return to normal life.
“There’s a gap. People are just about finished with treatment, they are on the right track, on the road to recovery and they need somewhere to live,” said Edwards.
They say recovery housing is an extreme need in our community and helps keep people from relapse. The Tennessee Housing Development Agency granted 500,000 dollars to fund the home.
“This grant is focused on opioid use disorder, so it’s helping folks that are in recovery build back their lives, grow, reconnect with family, jobs, friends and be able to really prosper,” said Katie Moore with the THDA.
Next door to the site of the future home is an existing KHRA house for those struggling with mental health. Leaders say the focus on substance abuse is crucial and timely.
“COVID has only increased the need for this type of housing,” said Edwards.
“This is such a wonderful step for this community to have some units available for folks to be able to springboard their lives from here,” said Moore.
The home is also something that could be a small step in helping the homeless population of Kingsport.
“It’s not the solution, not a perfect solution, but I do feel it will greatly impact that population. It is something that is one of the key struggles we see in that population and we are very hopeful it will have a great impact,” said Edwards.
The house will have six bedrooms and is a long-term housing solution, meant to show the community that recovery is possible.
“We hope this house sends the message of hope,” said Moore.
“It is the last stage, the last step in that journey. This will be a launching pad to help them establish their goals for their life,” said Edwards.
Construction on the Slate House is set to begin this summer, with an opening date expected for early 2022.