Man in Charleston, WV hopes his struggle will help others - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Man in Charleston, WV hopes his struggle with alcohol will help others

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Jim Wilkerson has been sober for 3 years. Jim Wilkerson has been sober for 3 years.

A group announced plans in Charleston, WV Thursday to open a residential treatment facility for substance abuse.

The program will be called the T Center.

Leaders with the group launched a $10 million Capital Campaign to get the money they need to build the center.

"It is a really big announcement for West Virginia," said Jim Wilkerson, Development Director for the project.

He said the facility will be licensed by the State of West Virginia to provide assessment services, sub-acute detoxification, day treatment programs and a therapeutic living program. There will also be an outpatient program and counseling for families.

The T Center will provide residential housing for 20 men and 20 women.

Dozens of people crowded in the lobby of Executive Air to hear an announcement years in the making. As Wilkerson picked up the microphone he was somewhat nervous. The day was meaningful to him.

"I couldn't hide it any more it wasn't a secret any more," Wilkerson said. He battled alcohol addiction for several years. He went to the Betty Ford Center then relapsed and had to go to treatment again in Greensboro, NC.

"I think my personal conviction for my own recovery was that I was tired of it and I needed someone to help me get rid of it," Wilkerson said.

He was a functioning alcoholic for many years. He held down a high profile job all while trying to hide the truth about his struggle.

"When you have something you hide you think you are the only one that has it and the fact is, it is out there," he said.

Bringing the dream to life of building a recovery center in West Virginia is part of his recovery. He has been sober for 3 years. He is hoping to offer that same gift to others.  

"To be able to put something in place in West Virginia that will truly make a difference in the lives of people I'll never know, I feel it in my heart that it is a good thing," Wilkerson said.

The T Center Board of Directors has not selected a specific location to build the center. They are hoping it will be somewhere secluded so that patients can focus on recovery. The plan is to open the center by late 2016.

The T Center is a program of the Kanawha Valley Fellowship Home.

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