PIKEVILLE – Residents at WestCare Kentucky’s facilities in Pike County provided 3,050 volunteer man-hours of service for community service projects and in support of Operation UNITE’s youth initiative during 2009.

Clients of the residential substance abuse treatment facility in Ashcamp and the homeless shelter and community involvement center in Pikeville were instrumental in park litter control, emergency flood relief efforts, a high school athletic facilities project, and UNITE’s basketball, football and school anti-drug club programs.

In addition, those in the treatment program provided 224 hours to WestCare’s Emergency Homeless Shelter and 888 hours to assist in preparing the former Lookout Elementary School property for a new women’s substance abuse treatment center.

“Recovery is not always about what you can get, but also about what you can give back,” said Mike Williams, clinical services director for the WestCare Hal Rogers Appalachian Recovery Center in Ashcamp. “The affirmation of worth and appreciation that they get from the community and from helping others is vital to their recovery.”

WestCare’s mission is to empower everyone to engage in a process of healing, growth and change benefiting themselves, their families, co-workers and communities. This is accomplished through collective and individual efforts designed at “uplifting the human spirit.”

“Our guys have been in a pattern of living that has been so selfish and self-centered that they have no sense of pride in doing things for others,” Williams noted. “When they get an opportunity to do things for their communities they get to feel that sense of pride and ownership in positive, selfless activities.”

And the community benefits as a result.

“Since the day their doors opened WestCare’s staff has asked how they can become involved with UNITE and PRIDE,” said Karen Engle, who directs both the anti-drug and environmental education organizations throughout southern and eastern Kentucky.

“We are so blessed by their enthusiasm, spirit and tireless work ethic,” Engle continued. “For the first time in a long while these men believe in themselves and see hope for their future – and they’re not shy about sharing that joy and message with others.”

Last year, residents at the Ashcamp treatment facility provided:

• 102 hours at Fishtrap Lake during PRIDE Spring Cleanup in April
• 400 hours to help cleanup Johns Creek Elementary School following major flooding in May
• 60 hours to help clean up Virgie Park in May
• 72 hours helping set up for a May tourism event in Elkhorn City
• 834 hours at UNITE’s Shoot Hoops-Not Drugs basketball camps in Wolfe, Morgan, Floyd and Bell counties
• 160 hours for UNITE’s Tackling Drugs football camp in Pikeville in June
• 168 hours to help clean up at Belfry Elementary School in August
• 264 hours to help install baseball dugouts at East Ridge High School during September and October
• 84 hours assisting at UNITE’s “Piercing the Darkness of Drugs” Youth Summit in Prestonsburg in September
• 66 hours assisting at Elkhorn Community Church in September and October
• 40 hours helping remove trees in the Elkhorn Creek area in December
• 16 hours of community awareness activities in Floyd and Knott counties

Residents of the Homeless Shelter provide year-round assistance to keep Pikeville City Park free of trash and litter. In 2009 they logged 784 service hours on 68 clean-up days.

WestCare is a family of tax-exempt nonprofit organizations that has provided a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments for more than 30 years. Services include substance abuse and addiction treatment, homeless and runaway shelters, domestic violence treatment and prevention, and mental health programs. They specialize in helping people traditionally considered difficult to treat, such as those who are indigent, have multiple disorders, or are involved with the criminal justice system.

In addition to its men’s treatment facility at Ashcamp, WestCare Kentucky operates a Homeless Shelter, Community Involvement Center and a Jail Recovery Program in Pikeville, a Jail Recovery Program in Floyd County, and a Community Involvement Center in Estill County that provides licensed outpatient services.

For more information about the WestCare’s treatment facility call 606-754-7077; the Homeless Shelter and Community Involvement Center can be reached at 606-432-9442.