Free treatment for addiction spreads from Utah to the nation

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) A Utah non-profit is taking its message of hope to the entire nation, one state at a time.

10,000 Beds was founded by Jean Krisle, a mother who watched her son struggle with addiction and then flourish in recovery.

It's a unique concept. She asks treatment centers all over the country to donate at least one bed a year. Then addicts and alcoholics seeking sobriety apply online for a scholarship and Jean hooks them up.

She and her husband Hal sold their home recently and traded it for a giant 40 foot RV wrapped boldly with the non-profit logo and mission. The wrap you can't miss donated generously by Interstate Image.

They've taken off cross country hitting South Carolina, Ohio and Texas so far. They're spreading word of their celebration of recovery and they're meeting with the people who can help them fulfill their mission.

"We are asking these amazing, we call them extraordinary, treatment centers, to donate at least one scholarship a year," says Jean. "Many give more."

In fact they gained 30 beds and their trip has just started. This month they are going to Illinois and Indiana and in July they're hitting Florida, Georgia, south Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Delaware. They have travel stops lined up well into 2018.

Along the way they've been touched by the people they meet. Like the couple that came up to them in the pouring rain at a gas station. "They came to us and said we're just here to say thanks. Our son is in recovery for six months. My husband's been in recovery for ten years," Jean remembers with emotion. "We stood there in the pouring rain and we cried."

Or the time they went to an event in northeastern Ohio where there were pairs of shoes around a track from people who had died from overdoses in the past year.

Jean took video with her phone. "You walk around this track and you're just looking at pair of shoes, after pair of shoes after pair of shoes," Jean says sadly. "They've labeled each one with the name and the date that we lost that person. It was extremely moving."

In addition to getting donations from treatment centers, Jean wants to spread the message that people trying to recover are not just the poor souls you see on the street around homeless shelters.

The person in recovery is "the guy next door that's coaching your kids soccer team. And you think he's one of the best guys you ever met." Then she adds with conviction '"what you don't know is he's been in recovery for ten years. That's the version of recovery I want people to understand."

10,000 Beds arranged about $1 million in treatment last year and they expect it will exceed $2 million this year.

Their cross country trip is helping them on their way to their goal of 10,000 beds. People are greeting them and their goal with open arms everywhere they go.

"The response," says Jean is "100 % overwhelmingly positive. People say thank you and what can we do to help."

To see if they are coming to a town near you, or to apply for a treatment scholarship, or to donate a bed if you're a treatment center, just go to their website at http://10000beds.org/.

 

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