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Once the center of Madisonville’s drug use, an old motel is becoming the center of drug recovery

The Lighthouse Community Life Center is moving closer to reality after a $325,000 grant
Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 7:08 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Along Highway 411 sits an old motel that has seen better days.

Caution tape surrounds steps leading to the second level on one said, while steps are missing on the other. With a window boarded up, this dilapidated building was once a destination to buy, deal, and do drugs.

”It was just a hotspot, like I said it was a hotspot. You wanted to go there, make your drop and then leave,” said Joshua Goodman.

Goodman knows all of this first hand, because he was once one of those people, down the dark path of substance abuse and addiction.

”Last January I died three times before the 12th of January from heroin and meth overdose, and I just needed change, a God change,” said Goodman.

One month ago he graduated from True Purpose Ministry’s year-long recovery program and is now working to help those who are down the path he once traveled.

”There’s hope, there’s hope, and it’s in God,” said Goodman.

Friday inside Madisonville Church of God, a group gathered in the sanctuary to announce a $325,000 grant towards the Lighthouse Community Life Center Project.

”There were times when I truly did not know if this was something that would be achieved. It’s through the grace of God that he continued to surround me with like-minded individuals who would cross my path who joined me in this vision and that’s what kept us moving forward,” said Sharon Davis the True Purpose Ministries Community Outreach Director.

Davis, in 2016, felt a calling to turn this old motel into something that could serve the community that once flocked there to get its fix.

”I felt an overwhelming sense of conviction and that is what propelled me into action,” said Davis.

Through a few surprise investments, by people who don’t want to be named, and now the grant for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, this project is starting to move forward.

”It’s just been amazing, it’s been overwhelming,” Davis said.

The money will help finalize the purchase of the property, while also helping the organization start the construction process.

”It’s just great to have a place to come and have refuge and have a place to learn who they really are and learn a new life,” said True Purpose Ministries President and Founder Jeremy Graham.

This center will serve as a beacon of hope, for a community that once found its darkness in this motel.

“I used to be an addict myself. I used to be addicted to everything under the sun, and now I’ve been clean for 20 years, and I’ve always just had the desire to open up places to give everyone the opportunity to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and find their new identity and that’s why we do what we do,” said Graham.

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