LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A growing Heroin problem has led to waiting lists of a year or longer just to get into the Healing Place, but the recovery center announced some big plans Friday.

"Our waiting list is so long and so overwhelming that people don't live long enough to come into our program off the waiting list," Healing Place President Karyn Hascal said at a press conference.

The painful reality shows just how bad the heroin epidemic is in the Louisville area. The Healing Place is Kentucky's largest recovery program for alcohol and drug addiction.

“If you happen to be there on a day there is a bed you are one of the lucky folks that gets a bed,” Hascal said.

Douglas Scott considers himself lucky because when he went through the program, the waiting list was only a day or two, now it can be a year.

“It took me about three weeks to actually get up and go to Healing Place from underneath a bridge,” Scott explained.

He's now helping the organization with its $20 million capital campaign to expand the men's campus on Market Street.

This fundraiser comes as the Healing Place celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The current detox area is small and has 24 beds, but the money will be used to create a 102,000 square foot expansion.

It would house up to 60 men in detox and 426 men in the recovery and transitional living programs.

"Even though we're almost going to double our services, I suspect we could do more than that and still not meet the need.” Hascal said, “I don't see any end in sight."

The first major donation of $1.5 million came from the James Graham Brown Foundation. So far, the silent campaign has raised $10.7 million.

The Healing Place also has a newer facility for women and children on South 15th Street and a third rehab facility in Campbellsville.

75 percent of participants remain sober one year after completing the program.

“You have to capitalize when a person becomes willing.” Scott explained, “You have to jump right on it because the next day that willingness can be gone and it may be too late.”

Construction is expected to start in December or January with the project completed in about two years.

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