The Dedication of The Healing Place

A Dream Becomes Reality
The Dedication of The Healing Place

“There’s no better landmark for the citizens of Raleigh than the Healing Place.” – Benson Kirkman, Raleigh City Council Member


The Healing Place of Wake County dedication ceremony attracted a variety of people.
The Healing Place of Wake County held a dedication ceremony on Wednesday, May 2, at 5:00pm. An idea that began as a trip to Louisville by a small handful of interested parties to study an innovative substance abuse recovery program has become a fully operational center in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Based on the successful Healing Place program in Kentucky, the Healing Place Wake County serves as a way to help drug or alcohol addicted homeless men find healing and once again become productive members of society. Instead of being taken to jail or to the emergency rooms, these men find a new option in The Healing Place.

The program uses the Alcoholics Anonymous model to help the men learn about their addictions and eventually overcome them. Program participants help one another; the clients run the facility, doing everything from laundry to security detail. As one client said, “You can’t do it by yourself. You learn to depend on your brother.”

Since its opening on January 15 this year, The Healing Place has served 7,016 clients from its detox ward, to homeless shelter, to


Executive Director Dennis Parnell welcomed the crowd.

Thomas Sayre’s sculpture keynotes the central garden.

Board President Fred Barber thanked the men in the program for being an inspiration.

The dedication ceremony ended on the front steps of the facility.

Board VP Barbara Goodmon commended the collaboration of public and private entities to create the Healing Place.

rehabilitation program and served over 17,105 meals. Thirty-eight men entered the four to six month recovery program in February; only six of those have dropped out.


Wake Co. Commission Chairman Michael Weeks celebrated the community involvement.

Many thanks came from the podium at the ceremony, but Healing Place Board President Fred Barber paused for special thanks to the men in the program saying, “they are proof to us that this idea was a good one.” Executive Director Dennis Parnell agreed: “It’s our honor and privilege to be part of these men’s lives.”

Healing Place Board Vice President Barbara Goodmon applauded the willingness of state, local, corporate, foundation, and individuals to come together to create the Healing Place as an example of “a community coming together and putting resources together to say we can make a difference.” She stated that making this program a reality in Wake County in an astounding fewer than three years has changed the paradigm about homelessness and substance abuse and serves as a model for the state of North Carolina. Wake County Board of Commissioners’ Chairman Michael Weeks also praised the partnerships: “I value the public & private sector collaboration.”


Pastor Gloria Johnson led the litany of dedication.

The dedication ended on the front steps of the facility. Men from the center released one balloon for each man currently in the program. The ceremony ended like AA meetings, with the recitation of the Serenity Prayer by the audience. Benefactor stood with community leader who stood with program client, with Board Member, and with community members, all present arm-in-arm.
Balloons were released to symbolize each of the 38 men currently in Phase I of the program.

One of the current clients, Augustus, summed the event up best saying, “I am truly thankful to you for making that trip to Louisville.”

The Healing Place On The Inside
Men currently in the program took visitors on tours of the facility during the afternoon before the dedication.

The Detox wing handles men who are brought to the center under the influence of drugs & alcohol.

The men enjoy an exercise center, lounges, and other amenities in the latter phases of the program.

In the last phase of the program, Silver Chip, the men have premium rooms.

In Phase II, the men live 8 to a room in a dormitory setting.

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