Healing House ribbon cutting marks beginning of new era

By Paul Thompson
Northeast News

Bobbi Jo Reed is glowing.

She’s standing in front of a microphone, before a large crowd, in a spacious room inside the new headquarters of Healing House, the Historic Northeast-based substance abuse recovery organization whose expansion plans are just getting started.

Reed is overseeing the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new facility, which will house the administrative component of Healing House. She will be celebrating 23 years of sobriety on September 26, and has been invited to the White House on September 28 to provide her unique perspective on the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Why shouldn’t Reed be satisfied?

“We see lives transformed every day here,” Reed said. “We have recovery meetings with over 350 people. Now I don’t know about you, but that makes our community and our streets a whole lot safer than 350 alcoholics out there running around, right? These are people that are getting jobs, paying taxes, rebuilding their families.”

Reed’s work with Healing House has not gone unnoticed; a fact that was made clear on Monday, September 17 by the impressive guest list for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new facility. City Council members Scott Taylor, Katheryn Shields and Scott Wagner were in attendance, along with Missouri state legislators DaRon McGee and Kiki Curls.

Missouri District 5 States Representative Emanuel Cleaver II was tabbed for the keynote address, delivering an impassioned speech about the important work being done by the organization. To Cleaver, the work that Healing House has been doing in and around St. John Avenue is incomparable.

“This is one of the most important places in Kansas City – not the Power & Light District, not the 18th and Vine District,” Cleaver said.

Cleaver also called the work of Healing House “important to me,” citing the emotional toll caused by a relative who died too young after a battle with substance abuse.

“We’re still living on shame avenue when issues such as drug addiction rise to the surface,” Cleaver said afterwards. “We’ve gotten better, but it’s obviously a problem or we wouldn’t have had such a problem getting this comprehensive (opioid epidemic) bill approved just a few months back.”

Bobbi Jo Reed speaks at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Healing House headquarters on Monday, September 17. Photo by Paul Thompson

The idea of Reed leading Healing House into its new 16,000 square-foot administrative facility is a far cry from the organization’s humble roots, which unofficially began in 2001. That year, Reed purchased a Historic Northeast home with the intention of providing transitional housing to women trying to conquer addiction. Two years later, Reed officially founded Healing House. Today, the organization has the capacity to provide transitional housing for up to 125 adults and 25 children, while also offering recovery support, educational classes and employment opportunities.

Reed has been doing recovery work in the Historic Northeast for decades, and in that time she has seen the area begin to shed it’s reputation as what she described as a “frightening” neighborhood. That’s no longer the case.

“Homes we used to buy for $20,000 down here are now $125,000,” Reed said. “So we’ve taken a whole bunch of abandoned properties, rehabbed them, and made them into beautiful homes for the people that we serve.”

Even more expansion news is coming just around the corner. Reed announced at the September 17 ribbon cutting ceremony that the organization’s $3.2 million recovery community center across the street (at 112/114 N. Elmwood) is only $700,000 from being fully funded. Already, new cement floors have been poured, a sprinkler system has been installed, and the plumbing has been renovated. With any luck, Reed says, the recovery community center will be completed sometime early in 2019.

The facility will host daily group sessions, tutoring, GED classes, relapse prevention assistance, recovery meetings, art and yoga classes, and much more. Eventually, Reed hopes the organization can install a commercial kitchen to facilitate a culinary arts program.

In the meantime, many of the educational components of Healing House’s work will be held at its new headquarters. One class Reed is particularly proud of is the organization’s NAR-Anon meetings, intended for the family members of those who are dealing with addiction issues. Anyone interested in joining that group can do so from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. every Saturday.

To learn more about Healing House or to find a program calendar, visit http://healinghousekc.org.

Comments are closed.

  • Holiday Puppy Party at the North-East Library

    8 hours ago
    by

    Dorri Partain Northeast News The Northeast Library teamed up with KC Pet Project for last Sunday’s Holiday Puppy Party.  Participants […]


    Operation Santa kicks off today at Della Lamb, serving over 1,000 local residents

    December 7th, 2018
    by

    This project will serve over 1,000 low-income families, giving them all the items needed for a full Christmas.


    Congressman Cleaver announces $25 million grant to improve Buck O’Neil Bridge

    December 7th, 2018
    by

    The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant will include creating a wider bridge span, separated facilities for pedestrians bicyclists, and connector ramps.


    KC Streetcar offers holiday performances for riders

    December 5th, 2018
    by

    Johanna Pounds Editorial Assistant Northeast News This holiday season, the Kansas City Streetcar is holding its second annual Holiday Jam. […]


    Delivery services offer tips on keeping packages safe this season

    December 5th, 2018
    by

    Johanna Pounds Editorial Assistant Northeast News Online shopping season is upon us. Kicking off with Cyber Monday, online sales increase […]


  • Animating the world around us: A profile on Ben Radatz

    December 5th, 2018
    by

    Reese Bentzinger Editorial Assistant Northeast News Even though animator Ben Radatz moved from Kansas City earlier this year to Los […]


    Northeast Chamber of Commerce discusses Independence MAX and Employer Pass Program at monthly meeting

    December 5th, 2018
    by

    Elizabeth Orosco Northeast News Tuesday, November 27th, the Northeast Chamber of Commerce held their monthly luncheon to discuss the Employer […]


    Kansas City Fire Department commemorates 30th anniversary of six firefighter’s ultimate sacrifice

    December 5th, 2018
    by

    Elizabeth Orosco Northeast News The Kansas City Fire Department and the community gathered November 29, to commemorate the 30th anniversary […]


    Historic homes welcome crowds during annual Homes Tour in the Northeast

    December 4th, 2018
    by

    Visitors were able to walk through the homes, meet some of the owners, and see the remarkable restorations that have taken place.


    Online enrollment for KCPS Signature Schools begins today

    December 4th, 2018
    by

    Online enrollment for Kansas City Public School signature schools begins today. Each Signature School has its own enrollment standards and is free for any qualifying child that lives within the KCPS boundaries.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

    Bed & Breakfast on Gladstone Boulevard

    Northeast News Now in its fourth year of operation, the Inn at 425 remains a labor of love. The evidence […]

    Anatomy of a Hack Piece

    Once again our ol buddies over at The Pitch magazine have broken new ground in an attempt to remain relevant […]