‘Run for Recovery’ to fight addiction, expand Shepherd’s House services


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A transitional residential treatment program is working to raise awareness on addiction and funding to expand services offered by Shepherd’s House, through their 20th annual Run for Recovery.

“We are a long-term treatment center, actually the first long-term treatment center in the United States. We opened up in 1989. And we were the first ones to provide 24 hour care, 7 days a week for 12-18 months,” explained Jerod Thomas, CEO and President of Shepherd’s House.

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Kyle Nowka, Executive Director of Mental Health, says they focus on long-term treatment because, “Our guys have spent years, sometimes decades, abusing drugs and alcohol. So to try and fix that thinking and behavior in 28 days is just not realistic.”

The wait list to get into Shepherd’s House is six months and continues to grow. In fact, last year, Thomas says they held an honor for a runner who passed away from an overdose while waiting on that list.

“That just tore us up, so we started expanding,” said Thomas.

Two new prison programs in the Fayette County Detention Center are set to open on September 1 which will feed into their long-term recovery program.

To help with the expansion, Shepherd’s House will put on their 20th annual Run for Recovery on Saturday, July 27th at 8 a.m. at Keeneland. It’s a 5K and 1-mile fun walk for both serious and not so serious runners and walkers. It’s open to families and is pet-friendly.

“It’s huge this year. The theme is ‘Who you running for?’ In the state of Kentucky, on the last report from the Office of the Inspector General, we had 1,468 overdose deaths,” said Thomas. “We’ve got to represent these people.”

Those interested in participating in the run, walk can sign up HERE.

Shepherd’s House is a 12-18 month transitional residential treatment program for men 18 years of age or older. It is a structured program that promotes personal responsibility and accountability for those seeking recovery. For more information, click HERE.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!