Healing Place of Hampton Roads was established on September 7, 2012 as a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.   The Planning Council incubated the new organization and has led the planning and facilitating process of creating a Healing Place in Hampton Roads.

In 2009 the Hampton Roads Regional Task Force to End Homelessness began researching best practices for treatment of alcohol and other drug addiction in eastern Virginia and identified recovery services as a significant gap for those presenting as homeless. The Task Force selected The Healing Place as the most suitable program for the region based on its success rate and cost effectiveness. The Healing Place was named a Model that Works by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1998. This successful model creates an atmosphere for persons to commit to recovery. The Hampton Roads facility will be modeled on the validated Healing Place programs in Wake County, North Carolina and in Louisville, Kentucky, and Richmond, Virginia  Based on statistics from Wake County, North Carolina and Richmond, Virginia 65-75%of graduates are sober one year later, and of those 85% are sober 2 years later.

The Problem:

On any given night there are approximately 2,000 homeless individuals in Hampton Roads. We estimate that there are a minimum of 1,280 homeless individuals with alcohol and drug addiction needing treatment and recovery services in our region. The Healing Place goals are unique because of its core concepts which include: immediate access to detox and recovery services when the individual needs them; no limit to the number of tries toward recovery because addiction requires a long healing process that often includes relapse, and peer-to-peer mentoring that creates a culture of empowerment. The Virginia Association of Community Services Boards, Inc. indicated at a SJR318 subcommittee presentation from 2009 that key principles to effective treatment are those utilized in The Healing Place model These include: When the person is ready, treatment is available; treatment is recovery-focused; peer support, such as 12-step, is effective in recovery; no single treatment is appropriate for all individuals; effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual with a wraparound approach; remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical for treatment effectiveness; and an individual’s treatment needs/recovery progress is monitored regularly and services and supports are modified to address these changes. The Substance Abuse Addiction and Recovery Alliance (SAARA) of Virginia FAQS also indicate further evidence that The Healing Place model is effective and needed:

  • Over 70% of public treatment providers in Virginia report inadequate capacity to provide a full array of treatment services.
  • 60-85% of people with addiction recover when they receive appropriate treatment over time; a higher rate of recovery than other chronic diseases.

People who need treatment in Virginia have to wait an average of 25.4 days to get into services. For treatment to be effective, it should be available when a person is ready.


The Solution:

The Healing Place of Hampton Roads will have a minimum of 100 beds, thus striking the right balance on a financial as well as human scale and will be a residential program based on the 12-step model.

The Healing Place of Hampton Roads will help homeless men and women, including veterans, to recover from alcohol and drug addiction so that they can lead self-sufficient lives in permanent housing. Site selection will focus on accessibility and ability to link with other services from across the community.

Overnight Emergency Shelter:
Clients may enter The Healing Place of Hampton Roads through the overnight emergency shelter. Beds will be available one night at a time, on a first come, first served basis. Basic services are provided, such as meals, clothes and showers. Clients may enter the shelter if they are intoxicated or under the influence of other drugs. If a client commits to recovery, he/she will get a guaranteed bed during the program. If a client does not choose recovery at this stage, he/she will not get a guaranteed bed but may come back the next night and check for shelter bed availability. Clients will be picked up at various locations throughout the region and be brought to The Healing Place of Hampton Roads. Residents who have advanced through the recovery program engage with those in the shelter to encourage them to choose recovery, and mentor them throughout their stay at The Healing Place.

Non-medical Sobering Up Center:
Clients may also enter The Healing Place of Hampton Roads through the social “detox” program, which provides safe, supervised non-medical detoxification and peer mentoring. Staff and clients encourage new detoxification participants to commit to the recovery program during this time. At The Healing Place of Wake County, over 60% of detoxification clients choose to move into the recovery program.

The Motivational Track consists of the following:

Off the Street I (OTS I): Once a client chooses recovery, he/she begins by attending the Recovery Dynamics classes five days per week, and at least three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week. Classes are taught by staff, who are The Healing Place alumni, as well as by clients who have completed the Education Track.

Off the Street II (OTS II): Clients advance in their recovery process via written assignments, mentoring their peers and working part-time in various departments of The Healing Place such as laundry, kitchen, security, maintenance, etc.

The Education Track consists of the following:

Phase I: At this stage of recovery, clients have regular jobs within The Healing Place of Hampton Roads and participate in three “Community” group sessions per week. Community is a one-hour session in which participants provide support and discipline for each other as they openly discuss their struggles along the road to recovery. During Community, 50-60 participants sit in a circle around a large room and self-identify recent transgressions, which can range from making a phone call during off-hours to slowing down in their recovery process. One participant will suggest an appropriate discipline for the offense and open the floor for acceptance or further discussion among the full group. Once the group agrees to the discipline needed, offending clients are asked if they are willing to accept the discipline. If not, they are asked to leave The Healing Place and come back when they are ready to be take responsibility for their actions. Community is where clients commit to changing the destructive behaviors that lead to relapse and where each person contributes to a culture of mutual support and accountability. In addition to Community, clients at this stage also take Life Skills classes, job readiness/training, and complete a “Ready to Rent” curriculum.

The Transitional Track consists of the following:

Phase II: Clients at this transitional stage begin teaching Recovery Dynamics to those in OTS I & II, and focus on getting a job and finding stable housing. The Healing Place of Hampton Roads will have a case manager on staff to assist with job skills, rental issues and family reunification. Once clients obtain outside employment they begin paying $50 per week for room and board to The Healing Place. When clients have obtained both housing and employment, they may petition their peers for graduation status and, if approved, may exit The Healing Place. Documented results in Kentucky include: Improved economic status, fewer homeless individuals, improved recovery supports, less involvement with the criminal justice system, and a cost savings to taxpayers.


The Healing Place of Hampton Roads is a non-profit 501(c)(3) non-medical recovery and rehabilitation facility where homeless individuals with alcohol and other drug addictions can recover and lead self-sufficient lives in permanent housing.