The Healing Place grads celebrate milestone - WDRB 41 Louisville News

The Healing Place grads celebrate milestone

A Hollywood actor and a Congressman spent the day in Louisville.  They celebrated a milestone with more than a 1,000 people recovering from addiction.

Joe Pantoliano, actor and recovering addict says, "Whether you're a movie actor or a brain surgeon or work at the CVS as a clerk, we're all the same."  Pantoliano fights the same alcohol and drug addictions as many of these Louisvillians.

Pantoliano's probably best known for his role as "Ralph" on "The Sopranos." His new role is to encourage others trying to recover including those at The Healing Place.  The shelter is celebrating its 8th annual Alumni Reunion, for the few thousand people who have gone through the recovery program.

Felicia Miles-Collier, Healing Place alumna says, "Anything they need me to do, I just try to do, because I'm so indebted to them."  Miles-Collier and Rick Leist are the alumni of the year. They've been sober for a few years and now are giving back to the place that gave to them.

Leist, Healing Place alumnus says, "The Healing Place saved my life and it turns around and gives me an award. That's the strangest thing."

Rick is now program director at Morehead Inspiration Center in Eastern Kentucky helping others who have battled the same addictions.

Jay Davidson, Healing Place Pres. & CEO says, "Homeless men and women are intelligent, creative, sensitive, focused men and women.  They just can't stay sober."

But The Healing Place says close to 70 percent of the people who finish its program stay sober for at least one year.  Saturday, the alumni enjoyed an alcohol-free party they planned for themselves and praise from their congressman, John Yarmuth.

Yarmuth says, "We know that investment in people like you works.  We know it's important to our society."

The Healing Place says its program costs less than $25 per person per day.  More than 400 men, women, and children can sleep at the shelter each night.

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