Lexington addiction recovery community will get federal dollars

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Thursday, co-founders and board members of Lexington addiction recovery community, Voices of Hope, celebrated a federal grant with Congressman Andy Barr and Van Ingram, Executive Director for the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.

Voices of Hope will receive almost $136,000. Barr says legislation he supported in 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act, authorized record levels of funding, up to $6,000,000,000, to states.

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Barr says he then advocated with the Governor’s Office for Voices of Hope and Chrysallis House to get some of that money.

Barr recalled a meeting about a year ago with Shelley Elswick, one of the founders of Voices of Hope, during which she outlined her vision for the community.

Her son, co-founder Alex Elswick, is in long-term recovery, himself.

He says the grant will help pay for meetings that promote all forms of recovery, peer coaching that will help those in recovery find jobs and education, and a building to do all that in.

Ingram says the Bevin administration will soon make more announcements about federal funding to help with transitional housing and employment support.

“What this represents to me is a paradigm shift away from treating addiction as an acute disorder and towards treating it as the chronic brain disease that it is,” Elswick said.

“We need a strong recovery community in every town in Kentucky. That’s here in Lexington now,” Ingram said.

“What I love about Voices of Hope, because it is peer to peer recovery coaching, is that these people who are in recovery have answered their own call and their own purpose in life, which is to help others,” Barr said.

He also added Kentucky suffers from the third highest opioid overdose mortality rate in the country.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!