City of Hope Recovery Center: A Faith Based Approach for Long-term Recovery from Substance Abuse.

By Barbara Day, M.S.,  R.D., C.N.

About six months ago I heard Attorney General GOP Candidate, Todd P’Pool, who is the Hopkins County Attorney say that 80% of the inmates in Kentucky’s Jails were drug addicts.  In fact, Todd was the organizing founder and President of the Western Kentucky Teen Challenge which is a faith-based residential drug rehabilitation center in Madisonville, Kentucky. The facility offers treatment to 60 men struggling with addictions with an 86% success rate.  I wondered why Louisville didn’t have a similar facility.

But, today the City of Hope Recovery Center (COH) was officially launched.  The COH will facilitate long term recovery from substance abuse in men through an integrated approach using Christian approach to healing.

Bob Rogers, the pastor at Evangel Christian Church and his church members ( have spearheaded the fund raising effort and development of the COH.  The COH is located at the old St. George’s Catholic School at 1811 Standard Avenue.  Pastor Bob started the festivities by asking former NFL football star, Charlie Johnson, to lead the audience in a prayer to help COH to lead the participants in the program to recovery as they walk with God.

Pastor Bob said that “God will touch them and deliver them. 17% cure rate in regular substance treatment programs but faith-based programs to date have a 78% cure rate.”  Pastor Bob proudly reported that 5 million meals had been distributed at The Lord’s Kitchen which is also housed in the COH.

Naomi Whitehouse, the executive director of COH, said COH will become a home away from home until the participants can return to their family.  They will live in the dorm-style rooms while they are receiving an array of different types of therapies such as work therapy, laughter therapy, and mentoring from local businessmen who have stepped up to the bat to help.

       Daniel, a current participant, was introduced to the audience. Daniel said, “City of Hope has saved my life. I came here hopeless and now I have hope! I am excited about my future and thank God most of all!”

Evangel assistant Pastor, Kevin McKnight, and his wife, Robin, had a special reason to donate to the project. Robin’s father, who recently died, belonged to St. George Catholic Church and also went to St. George’s school. Robin said, “My dad would be very proud of this facility.”

       Mayor Greg Fischer was on hand to help with the ribbon cutting. The mayor said, “People who work in recovery see a vision and don’t blink.” He suggested to the 10 guys that are currently in the program, will set the tone and many will follow in their footsteps. The mayor reminded us “giving is a gift. The more you give the more you get. City of Hope is a gift to our city, our state and our country.”

How the Moon & Stars Come Together

       It’s interesting how I got pulled into attending the ribbon cutting ceremony at COH. I was watching WAVE-3 and Bob and Caroline Scott, from Louisville Athletic Club (LAC), were discussing COH with the executive director, Naomi Whitehouse. I very rarely watch this show so the fact that I was watching this day at this time is very telling as to what was meant to be.

The Scotts and I are Facebook friends. I was close to LAC on Westport Road on Tuesday and just stopped by to say “hi” to Bob, not even sure he had time to talk. The COH program brochures were lying on his desk.  I told Bob I saw the show earlier that morning and went on to discuss COH and the fact that they were having a ribbon cutting on Wednesday. He invited me tag along with his family. I accepted. I rode to the ribbon cutting ceremony with the Scotts and their two sons. It turns out the Scotts have been involved with the development of the center. In fact, they are helping to design a fitness center at COH for the residents. Fitness is a cornerstone of the overall health.

Caroline, Bob, Julie Terrell, Luke and Zach Scott in front of the building where the fitness center is to be housed.

Bringing Hope through a Faith Based Recovery Center

The COH program length is 6 to 9 months depending on the needs of the individual and/or court order recommendations.  There are three phases. Phase 1.  30 days: Residents will set boundaries for their personal self. Work therapy begins after orientation. Phase 2. next 3-6 months: Making positive choices, good decision and working on skill development where the participant can complete a Life recovery Plan. Phase 3- next 5 months: Focus on making positive transition by dealing with What I need to change and how to change it.  Phase 3 is focused on helping the participant to abandoning unhealthy and destructive thought patterns and behavior and controlling attitudes. Residents are expected to participate in worship services, group counseling sessions, life skills workshops, and relapse prevention sessions.  COH uses an integrated approach to Christian healing while addressing the underlying cause of the addition by replacing the addiction with new, healthy daily living habits.

Residents are required to attend in-depth assessments of their progress with a counselor. Residents are supervised 24 hours a day. Because the program does not receive any government assistance, there is a $95 registration fee and a $500 per month residential fee.

If you would like more information about COH, you can contact Naomi Whitehouse are 502.413.0102 ext 1803 or

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N, is a registered dietitian ( who has been teaching healthy lifestyles strategies to consumers for over 35+ years. Check out Barbara’s new healthy lifestyles website: