The Kolbe Mission, based out of Phoenix, is working to realize “a Catholic home to serve those battling addictions,” one that its creators hope will “strengthen the mind, body, and soul through prayer, works, and fellowship.”

Drug addiction has wreaked havoc on U.S. society for decades, with the problem reaching severe crisis levels in recent years. Overdose deaths have also been on the rise. The National Safety Council said that just under 99,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021, an all-time high.

CDC data indicate that more than 2,700 individuals in Arizona died of drug overdoses in that year. The Kolbe Mission, meanwhile, says that Phoenix is “the fifth-largest city in the United States” but that it “lack[s] a Catholic recovery center.”

Kevin Starrs, vice president of the Kolbe Mission and currently the director of prison ministries for the Diocese of Phoenix, told CNA that his work in prisons caused him to notice the absence of rehab facilities built specifically for Catholics.

“Part of what you do is just send people to rehab after they get out of prison,” he said. “And over all the years there were no Catholic recovery homes. We didn’t focus on that, we just kind of noticed that.”

“About five years ago I put together a group of us to pray about it,” Starrs said. “Our retired bishop [Thomas Olmsted] got wind of it and encouraged us to go to Alabama where they had a Catholic facility. All four of us got on a plane and went to it….”

From the National Catholic Register