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June 14, 2008

Liberty Place getting ready for residents

Decorated by community groups

When the first residents of the Liberty Place women’s recovery center arrive June 30, they will be welcomed into a home-like environment.

Pictures will be hanging on the walls and colorful bedspreads will make the bedrooms cheerful and inviting.

In addition to fine bed linens and wall decor, the bathrooms will be stocked with soaps, shampoos and other toiletries.

“We want this to be a place where women can heal,” said Liberty Place Director Jeri Allison. “It can be scary coming to a strange place where you are going to live with people you don’t know.”

All of the decorations and other accessories in Liberty Place rooms were donated by local churches, civic groups, businesses and individuals. They spent $700 to $1,000 on each room.

After getting the $3.5 million, 100-bed facility constructed and furnished, “We didn’t have money for accessories, but the community really came through for us,” said Karen Bailey of the Kentucky River Foothills Community Action Partnership, the facility’s managing agency.

The donors spent most of Saturday making up beds, setting up decorations and stocking supplies in the rooms they had “adopted.”

“Our clients will be encouraged to know that their rooms were sponsored by supportive members of the community,” Allison said. “As they travel the often difficult road to recovery, they will know that people in this community cared enough about them to decorate and supply their rooms and want them to succeed.”

Karen Steinhauser took a special interest in the room that the Victory World Outreach Center adopted.

“More than 20 years ago, before I became a Christian, I went through a drug addition recovery program,” she said.

She led nine other members of her church’s Room to Bloom ministry which specializes in preparing rooms.

“Last week we fixed up a 12-year-old girl’s bedroom,” Steinhauser said. “We’ll be fixing up bedrooms in Richmond public housing facilities in the near future.”

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