'The thought of being out there scares me to death': Lockland recovery home faces possible eviction

Posted at 6:12 PM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-26 20:08:17-04

LOCKLAND, Ohio — Kamilah Wiley has deep, dark circles under her half-closed eyes in the mugshot shared Friday with WCPO. Her cheeks are gaunt. Her gaze is unfocused.

At that point in her life, 41-year-old Wiley said Friday, the people she knew doubted she would ever be able to achieve sobriety. When she checked into Juliette’s Hope, a Lockland recovery center for women struggling with substance abuse, some doubted she would be able to last a week.

She’s doing better now, she said. But she’s afraid. Juliette’s Hope, which is home to 12 recovering women, could soon be evicted from its building by a new landlord.

“These girls are my sisters, and this place literally saved my life,” she said, wiping away tears. “The thought of being out there scares me to death because I’m not ready.”

Kim Russo founded Juliette’s Hope in 2017 in honor of her mother, renting the building from Christian Inn Ministries for $1 per year. She was in the process of buying it until a new landlord took over in 2018, she said.

"We've been here two years, and there's been thousands of volunteer hours and a lot of money put into it," she said.

One recovering patient, Chassity Stevens, reached out to a reporter after seeing an eviction notice on their front door this week.

"I'm in the process of looking for a job," she said. "I don't have any money saved up. I'd be on the streets."

An attorney representing Christian Inn Ministries declined to comment. Russo said she shares the women's anxieties about their futures.

"Now I have girls that have been here over a year and are starting to work," she said. "Now they are building a relationship back up with their families, and it's fabulous, and I would hate to see any of that get lost."