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A group of ladies enjoy a previous Holiday Luncheon.

With the drug epidemic continuing throughout the state and Madison County, the Liberty Place Recovery Center for Women is doing its part to help try to bring women afflicted with addiction in Madison County into recovery.

And after celebrating its 11th year of services in June, the center is set to host its annual holiday Liberty Place Luncheon, which helps raise money to help pay for the operations of the program.

Proceeds will benefit Liberty Place Recovery Center for Women, a residential substance abuse recovery program operated by Kentucky River Foothills Development Council (KRFDC), a local Community Action Agency committed to improving the community and promoting self-sufficiency, a press release states.

"The luncheon provides a great event for Liberty Place to expose the program and what we do within our walls to the community," said Karen Atkins, KRFDC public information officer. "This is not just an event to raise money, but to raise awareness and that there is such a huge drug problem in the world, in Madison County, we have a huge drug problem, and there has been a program here since 2008 that has been doing something. We can't fix it but we are fighting it daily...We are doing something big at Liberty Place and we are really changing lives."

The luncheon includes food and desserts and a speech from a Liberty Place Program graduate in addition to live and silent auctions. In a press release, Atkins says some of this year's items include sporting event and concert tickets, a beautiful homemade throw made by Liberty Place residents, electronics such as Apple Watches and Kindle, and an assortment of arts and crafts.

"Liberty Place is a very expensive program to operate," she said in the release. "We provide all of the essential items each participant needs while they reside at the center. This includes all recovery materials such as Alcoholics Anonymous materials, Recovery Dynamics Workbooks, Errors in Thinking Workbooks, classroom supplies and art therapy supplies."

Currently, 108 women can be housed in Liberty Place at a time, with around 500 women served in the last fiscal year, according to Atkins. And with so many women coming into the program, she reports that the facility is expensive to operate.

"The women participating in our program are homeless or marginally housed and unemployed, sometimes coming directly from court or jail," she said. "They often come to us with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The majority of our clients have no income; nor do they have family members or friends who are able to send them money. As you can imagine, the program needs community support to thrive."

This year, Atkins said, the center hopes to raise $30,000 to purchase essential personal care items such as hygiene products, new beds -- some of which are 11 years old -- and save for bigger projects like a new roof for replacing air conditioning units.

"Proceeds allow us to buy all the things mentioned," she said. "A lot of times we struggle with this. There's the cost of the house, and serving that many women, a lot of those things have to be addressed."

Atkins says that any donations are accepted and the program also is requesting items for their live and silent auctions from interested businesses, groups, churches or individuals. For more information about purchasing tickets, donating an auction item, or making a donation to the center, call Karen Atkins at 624-2046 ext. 1111. Tickets can also be purchased online at https://foothillscap.org/programs/liberty-place-recovery-center-for-women/.

The luncheon will be held Saturday, Nov. 23 from 1 to 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church at 425 Eastern Bypass in Richmond. Tickets are $30 per person.

Liberty Place began serving clients in 2008, their release states. The center, a supportive housing development, accommodates the needs of women in Kentucky's 6th Congressional District.

There are five components of the program which include Safe Off the Streets, Motivational Tracks 1 and 2, and Phase 1 and 2. Residents must make the commitment to overcome their addictions, be over the age of 18, and be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to participate. The average stay at Liberty Place is approximately 6-9 months. Services are provided at no charge to the participants.

Follow Taylor Six on Twitter at @TaylorSixRR.

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