HAZARD – Residents of four Southeastern Kentucky counties in need of substance abuse treatment continue to benefit from the philanthropy of Kentucky River Properties, LLC.

Company officials provided the third annual $100,000 installment of a five-year pledge to the UNITE Foundation in a brief ceremony held Wednesday, Dec. 14, in Hazard.

The funding is used to provide treatment vouchers to low-income residents of Perry, Knott, Leslie and Letcher counties. In addition, a portion of the money is used to support Drug Court programs in each of these counties.

KRP President Fred N. Parker said the donation is in keeping with his company’s philosophy to provide as much support as possible to schools, families and organizations within their service region.

In announcing the five-year, $500,000 pledge in January 2010, Parker noted his board of directors “felt this is one of the best investments we could make.”

Over the past two years, 45 people from the four target counties have entered a treatment program using KRP’s funding, said Karen Kelly, UNITE’s director.

For those who qualify, UNITE treatment vouchers pay up to $3,000 for short-term treatment (up to 89 days) or up to $5,000 for long-term treatment (90 days or more).

“These are people who need – and want – treatment for their addiction but may not have the financial resources,” Kelly said. “Kentucky River Properties recognizes this need and has made a commitment to helping out.”

With approximately 1,400 calls to UNITE’s treatment line (1-866-908-6483) each month, sometimes there is a waiting list for assistance. The funding from KRP virtually eliminates the wait for individuals in the four counties, Kelly added.

Funds requested by the Drug Court programs are used to provide resources to help participants meet basic one-time needs.

“The recovery process can be overwhelming,” Kelly noted. “Often this extra help makes the difference in whether or not an addict graduates and ultimately changes his or her lifestyle once and for all.”

Kentucky River Properties is a land company formed in 2001 after a restructuring of its parent company, Kentucky River Coal Corporation.