One of Knoxville’s best kept secrets, The Mend House, had a lot to celebrate Wednesday.
A successful $375,000 fundraising effort culminated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the sober housing facility for men in the heart of Fountain City.
The Mend House’s executive director, Reico Hopewell, told the assembled crowd of approximately 30 people that 182 people have died from drug overdoses in Knox County so far this year.
“Our community right now is really struggling with substance abuse disorders,” Hopewell said. “I personally have held lifeless bodies in my arms.”
The fundraising effort allowed the organization to buy its location at 312 Knox Road instead of continuing to pay rent, he explained.
More than 700 men have walked through the doors of the Mend House at 312 Knox Road since it opened in 2015, officials said.
It can accommodate up to 30 men at once. The men are allowed to stay at the Mend House for up to two years or until they are ready to transition from the program.
More information about the program is available at https://www.themendhouse.org/.