Just steps across the Ninth Street Divide, a cluster of old and really old buildings houses The Healing Place, a nonprofit offering substance abuse recovery programs and housing. The group’s men’s facility is overcrowded, however, and a new building on West Market Street between 10th Street and 11th Street is planned to help handle a high level of demand.
The expansion project was announced last August, but with fundraising in full swing, details are becoming clearer. “We are overwhelmed with people,” Healing Place President Karyn Hascal told Wave3 recently. The overcrowding is largely in part due to a spike in heroin use, she explained.
Plans for a four-story, $20 million building would triple the size of the current center, increasing beds in the detox unit from 24 to 60 and capacity in the recovery unit from 250 to 426 beds.
The Healing Place has already raised $4.5 million for the project, with $1.5 million coming from the James Graham Brown Foundation, and hopes to break ground this fall.
The facility is being planned as Metro Louisville prepares to implement a needle exchange program to help combat the growing use of heroin in the city and the spread of disease it’s causing. According to Wave3, Dave Langdon, with Metro Louisville Public Health & Wellness, said similar programs in Washington, D.C. have reduced HIV cases associated with needles by up to 80 percent.
The proposed square-doughnut-shaped building is planned to be built in two phases, according to The Healing Place’s master plan. Phase one includes demolishing a one-story administrative building at 1030 West Market Street and building a four-story detox and single-room-occupancy housing building that will eventually form the western side of the larger building. Later, a C-shaped structure will complete the square.
The master plan also spells out a troubling move calling for the demolition of two historic brick structures at 1017 and 1019 West Market Street to build a new administrative building.
In a part of town already dominated by surface level parking lots, it’s simply not acceptable to demolish two of the last historic structures anchoring a corner site. We urge The Healing Place to reconsider this aspect of its master plan. An email sent to the group asking for more information on the project was not returned.
The new buildings on the south side of Market Street, however, appear to create a strong urban street wall, replacing a late-20th century dormitory and parking lot. One of Louisville’s rare mid-block streets—Chapel Street—cuts through the block here and will terminate on the new building (see our mock up view below).
The design is simple and affordable, but an architect for the project was not included in a press release. K. Norman Berry Architects, who is designing the Kindred headquarters expansion on Fourth Street, previously designed The Healing Place’s Women’s and Children’s facility, but it’s not clear if they are working on this project as well.