MK House

Proceeds raised at the Ye Olde Market Place, a resale and consignment store located in Wright City, help fund operations of the MK House, a place where recovering drug addicts can live. Tim Schmidt photo.

Two organizations have been formed to help local youth and adults in a quest to stay drug and alcohol free. Learn more about these programs:

Jordan’s Place to be safe sanctuary for youth

There aren’t a lot of recreation options for Warren County teenagers or places they can go to just hang out with friends.

A new non-profit group is hoping to change that by opening Jordan’s Place, a facility that would provide a place for local youth to socialize.

Cathy Pritchett said plans are in the works to open the youth facility, possibly as early as April. She said the group has looked at a soon-to-be vacant space on Main Street in Warrenton, though other locations are under consideration as well.

Jordan’s Place would have activities such as pool tables, ping-pong, foosball and an area for a coffee bar and snacks. Support groups and counseling would likely be offered at the facility.

Jordan’s Place will be named after Jordan Lunsford, a 17-year-old Warrenton boy who died in November from a drug overdose. Pritchett is co-president of the non-profit group with Jordan’s mother, Kelli Clodfelter. Pritchett also oversees Step Up TLP, LLC, a transitional living program that helps teenagers in foster care progress from state custody to independent living. Jordan’s Place will be a separate entity from the Step UP program, Pritchett explained.

The idea behind the proposed facility is to give area youth a safe place to gather, free of drugs or alcohol.

“It would be a place to come in and hang out with supervision,” Pritchett said.

In the coming weeks the group needs to select a location and determine what municipal regulations have to be met in order to open, according to Pritchett. In addition, the group is looking for ideas from the public on what they would like to see, as well as creating a website and holding a logo contest.

For more information, contact Pritchett at 314-583-1716 or cathy@stepuptlp.com.

MK House is a place of recovery

When a drug addict completes rehab, it is not unusual for the person to return his or her prior living arrangements and social circles. It often leads them down the road to relapse.

The MK House is a Christ-centered program designed to help recovering addicts rebuild their lives. Currently, an all-male residence has been in existence in an unincorporated part of St. Peters for the past two years. Kevin Derby, who oversees the program with his partner, Pete Kolich, hopes to be able to expand the program by providing more housing for participants.

The MK House was started when Kolich’s son, a third-year law student, died from a heroin overdose.

“The biggest challenge we have with expanding is trying to find people who understand recovery,” Derby said. “There is a need everywhere.”

The MK House is privately funded, with proceeds coming from the operation of the Ye Olde Market Place, a resale and consignment store located at 201 N. Cherry St. in Wright City, and donations. Program participants are also required to pay $250 a month in rent.

The recovering addicts who live in the MK House must follow a stringent set of policies, which Derby says is similar to living in a military barrack. They have a 11 p.m. daily curfew, are required to have a job within one month of residing there, undergo random drug testing and must attend support group meetings.

After a year living in a MK House, Derby said the participants are ready to live on their own.

“The thing that works, it’s not the program, but they are my friends,” Derby said. “We form a deep camaraderie and get to know one another.”

Derby admits there is a stigma attached to a MK House being in a residential neighborhood. However, he stresses the program is about being a good neighbor.

“The same people saying they want to fix the program, they are also standing in the way,” Derby said. “We keep the location secret. If anybody drove by, they wouldn’t know.”

For more information, visit www.oldchurchmarket.com.

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