Reep leaving Healing Place

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Allen Reep, who in six years as director of development at The Healing Place of Wake County has overseen an $11 million capital campaign and big increases in annual giving and volunteerism, is leaving the organization.

“I’m looking for new options,” Reep says. “It’s time.”

Reep, who joined The Healing Place in September 2001, eight months after it opened its $4.5 million men’s center, says he will work fulltime until April 20 and then will work for several months to help ensure a smooth transition at the organization, a residential recovery program for homeless alcoholics and addicts.

Reep announced his plans in an email to colleagues less than two weeks after organizing a gala fundraising event that attracted nearly 550 people to the RBC Center and netted an estimated $150,000 to $175,000.

The event, which featured celebrity artists and entertainers, many of them recovering addicts or alcoholics, honored Barbara Goodmon, who spearheaded creation of The Healing Place.

“Allen has really been a driving force for The Healing Place since he came in 2001,” says Goodmon, a former Healing Place board member who is president of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, which publishes the Philanthropy Journal.

“We basically had no development program,” she says. “Allen really helped the board raise the money that had to be raised. He really helped put The Healing Place on the map.”

In the fiscal year that begins Jan. 1, 2008, the annual budget for The Healing Place will total $2.8 million, up from just over $1 million when Reep joined the organization.

During that same period, the nonprofit has increased its base of support to nearly 5,000 donors from 235, and to roughly 400 active volunteers from two dozen, and last May hired its first volunteer coordinator

It also has enlisted public funding and now generates 60 percent of its budget from Wake County, the city of Raleigh and the Wake County Board of Alcoholic Control.

With 180 beds at its men’s shelter and 98 beds at its women’s shelter, the $11 million facility that opened in January 2006, The Healing Place has provided a total of 330,000 beds of overnight shelter.

As of Dec. 31, 2006, 373 men and 15 women had graduated from the nonprofit’s program, which consists of rescue, recovery and rehabilitation.

The men’s and women’s facilities represent Wake county’s only “wet” shelter, or the only overnight shelter for homeless individuals who are drunk or high.

According to federal statistics, 60 percent to 80 percent of people who are homeless suffer from alcoholism or substance abuse, Reep says.

The Healing Place works closely with local police departments in Wake County and the county’s sheriff’s department, and has trained crisis intervention teams at all the police department to work with alcoholics and addicts and, when appropriate, refer to one of the organization’s two shelters.

Individuals who spend the night at The Healing Place also can opt to participate in its long-term residential program for recovery and rehabilitation.

The program, which can last eight to 10 months for men and 11 to 13 months for women, includes classes and networking to help them kick their alcoholism or addiction and prepare themselves to return to the community and the world of work.

The Healing Place also provides graduates with donated items such as linen, furniture and dishes.

It also is launching a new entrepreneurial initiative, funded by the A.J. Fletcher Foundation.

That effort will provide jobs for Healing Place graduates, and generate revenue for the organization, by selling donated items to vendors and flea markets, staffing a food wagon and, in partnership with the McKimmon Center at N.C. State University, providing distance-learning training to substance-abuse professionals throughout North Carolina.

The Healing Place this year also will launch a planned-giving program to develop deferred gifts through wills and estate plans and involving assets other than cash such as securities or real estate.

Developing that effort is the executive committee of The Healing Place board, with Susanne Hayes, a retired lawyer, serving as chair, and Michael Painter, a principal at Plexus Capital, serving as vice-chair.

“The organization,” says Reep, “has grown from a small operation to a large enterprise that will serve the county well.”

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