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Isaiah House has helped hundreds in the last decade

June 22, 2013|By STEPHANIE MOJICA | smojica@amnews.com

Isaiah House Executive Director Mark LaPalme understands all too well what it feels like to be addicted to drugs and in need of physical and spiritual help.


LaPalme ended more than 20 years of drug abuse through his Christian faith; he and his wife, Tammy, were both “saved” in 1999 and then decided to help those men whom society tends to give up on. They brought men with substance abuse problems — including some who were accused of sexually-based offenses — into their Danville home.


After both public outcry from concerned residents and support from community members who understood the LaPalmes’ mission, Isaiah House was officially born in 2002. Today, the Willisburg property serves 72 men and eight women who are ready and willing to make significant changes in their troubled lives.


Isaiah House is the only state-accredited, Christ-centered recovery program for drug and alcohol abuse, according to Andy Ayers, an executive assistant for the men’s program and also the LaPalmes’ son-in-law.

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“Our mission is to provide the best possible addiction treatment care for our students and families regardless of means,” Ayers said.


When a person desiring to get sober and stay sober agrees to allow the staff of Isaiah House to play an active role in recovery, he commits to at least eight months of in-house treatment. As trust builds and the time away from drugs or alcohol increases, the resident can have privileges such as visits to approved relatives. The men and women either work at the house or find a job in the nearby community. Case managers are on hand to help residents with educational, medical, legal and financial issues. Board-certified counselors for drug and alcohol abuse, marriage and family therapists and pastoral counselors are part of the program. Regular church attendance and participation in the Christian program Celebrate Recovery are required. Attendance at other recovery meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, also is required.


But the work is not over when a resident “graduates,” Ayers said. Recovery from substance abuse is a lifelong process. Isaiah House offers a 90-day intensive program immediately following residential treatment. The staff members are continuously available for those who have been through the program, especially in the first five years of sobriety.


In about a decade, more than 1,300 people have completed at least part of the rigorous recovery program at Isaiah House. The facility has provided more than 200,000 nights of housing and more than 600,000 hot meals for people ready to stop using drugs and alcohol. An estimated 83 percent of the people who complete the program stay sober, according to the Isaiah House website.


State Rep. Mike Harmon, R-Boyle, recently visited the Isaiah House along with U.S. Congressman Brett Guthrie. Harmon, a member of Junction City First Baptist Church, has been a longtime personal supporter of the program.


“It’s sad that so many people in Kentucky suffer from addictions to drugs and alcohol,” Harmon said. “I fully believe in what Isaiah House has done and what they’re doing. It’s just a wonderful ministry.”

Follow Stephanie Mojica on Twitter @StephMojica.

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