HUNTINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has invested nearly $1 million in a loan guarantee to expand sober living facilities in Huntington.
The Trump administration announced Tuesday that The Lifehouse Inc. was the recipient of a $930,000 loan via the USA Rural Development Business and Industry Loan Guarantee. The project is one of seven parts of a statewide investment of more than $22.1 million in business and industry loan guarantees.
The Lifehouse Inc. is a voluntary recovery program and sober living home that provides anyone recovering from substance use disorder a drug- and alcohol-free home.
Rocky Meadows, director of The Lifehouse Inc., said the loan has already been put to good use. The program used it to purchase a 21-unit apartment building located at 400 Washington Ave. that created 60 new men’s beds. Meadows said the apartment building provides a better setting and gives the men more space than a typical residential home as they undergo a 60-day initial recovery period.
The loan guarantee has also been used to purchase a house that created 10 new beds for women.
The program is meant to improve the economic health of rural communities by increasing access to business capital through the loan guarantees, which enables commercial lenders to provide affordable financing for rural businesses.
The assistance is meant to support infrastructure improvements, business development, housing, community facilities and more.
USDA West Virginia State Director Kris Warner said having access to safe and reliable housing is vital to the area as it works toward recovery.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural West Virginia in building stronger and healthier communities,” he said. “Because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Meadows said he believes the USDA waited to make the announcement partially because of COVID-19 and because they wanted to show the program as the “feather in the hat” of what is to come with more than $22 million in loans provided to West Virginia businesses.
“There’s proof in the good we are doing,” he said. “We produce a lot of long-term sober people, and the facilities we operate reflect that.”