OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) — The RiverValley Behavioral Health Center received over $2 million in grant funding to help those in recovery. The organization hosted a grand opening for its latest project, The Gathering Place.

Located on 400 East Fourth Street, The Gathering Place will offer resources, services and support in a warm, inviting, café-style environment. The project was funded by a $600,000 grant awarded to RVBH by the Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health.

“Research demonstrates that when the social support [is] strong, people have a better outcome. They stay in recovery . They’re able to be reintegrate in and adopt healthier lifestyles. So, we created this center so that people in recovery have their space to connect to support each other,” said Dr. Wanda Figueroa-Peralta, the president and CEO of RVBH.

The Gathering Place is the first of its kind in Daviess County.

“There [are] a lot of peer counselors that will be available to them, if they’re going through an experience that can trigger some of the conditions that led them to substance use or addiction. So, what better way to support each other than by having a safe place, judgement free, to connect and at the same time to acquire other skills,” said the Dr. Figueroa-Peralta.

In addition to providing a sober, social environment, The Gathering Place will host support groups, teach people how to handle career changes and cook, while also providing support to those who are pregnant or raising children.

“They have terrible barriers in terms of access and the stigma associated with it. ‘Who’s gonna take care of the baby?’, the lack of support, the stress, the anxiety. The level of anxiety that comes with the responsibility of raising a child…and at the same time facing the challenge of substance abuse,” said the organization’s president.

The center will be be open from 8 a.m until 8 p.m., and the staff and those who curate events will help to empower others.

“They’re highly trained these are individuals that have walked the walk and we also would be open to have volunteers,” said Dr. Figueroa-Peralta.