"Hope dealers" reach out to drug addicts in Frankfort
FRANKFORT, Ky. - They called it "Night of Hope Dealers" for a reason. Organizers said they want it to give hope to folks trying to break the chains of addiction.
"You can climb out of any gutter, any ditch, any car, any clubhouse, any bar, off the street, and come into a place where you can be productive and you can live a good life," said Libby Patton, a pastor at Unity of the Faith Church in Frankfort.
About 200 people showed up at the event held Friday evening at the farmers market pavilion at River View Park in Frankfort.
The event was designed to be fun - there was a DJ, a rapper and other bands performed. But more than that, it was supposed to be helpful and encouraging, and it had a serious message. They also had booths with resources to help people in their recovery.
It was a sign of a community coming together to take a stand.
"We're just trying to really prove that we can become functional members of society," said Angie O'Brien, ministry leader with Breaking Chains of Addiction support group. "We're not bad. We just made some bad choices."
Folks at the event told reporter Garrett Wymer that hope can be hard to see when you are stuck in addiction. So that is what they want folks to know: there is hope, and there is help.
"People can recover," said Nathan Buis, a recovery advocate who spoke at the event. "I see it everyday. I'm one of the people that has chosen recovery as a new way of life. And more than anything, if you want it its out there."
They also lit candles and read the names of the "Voiceless" - those who lost their battle to addiction.
Organizers say people need to know recovery is possible. They say they are here as proof.
"A good life is out there for you, you just got to want it," said Patton, who is a recovering addict herself - 16 years clean, she said. "You just got to be ready to be done and want something different."