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Retired therapist working for homeless

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POSTED: August 9, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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Rev. Nancy Kornegay

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A therapist, she continues to donate her time and energy to help people even after her retirement. After many years working abroad, she returned to this country after the death of her husband.
Dr. Alicia Kirk spent 20 years in Australia working in healing centers, which she developed. When her Australian husband died in 2004, she returned to Georgia where her children live. She said she promotes a holistic approach in her therapy.
Kirk has always had a desire to help people. Retiring and moving to Georgia did not dim her determination to be of service to others and to help people who are experiencing life’s difficulties become productive citizens. Consequently, she became involved in acquiring a healing center to help house homeless women.
 “I have been working with the mayor of Hinesville (Jim Thomas), Mr. Gary Dodd, Pastor Nancy Kornegay and the members of Liberty Tabernacle of Prayer for all People, and members of the First United Methodist Church in Hinesville. Many people have been very helpful in providing assistance,” Kirk said.
 “We have leased 70 two-bedroom and three-bedroom trailers in a mobile home park on Dunlevie Road in Walthourville to house the homeless and others who are temporarily in need. We already have an occupied house on 131 McArthur Street, across from Chili’s Restaurant in Hinesville, ” Kirk said.
“The trailers will serve as the temporary location of the healing center. We hope to have them accessible by July 15,” she said. “Our desire is for Hinesville to not have any homeless people so they can lead good productive lives.”
Kirk plans to build the Kirk Healing Center on Kelly Drive, opposite Liberty Tabernacle of Prayer. “After Deacon Victor and Dr. Inez Shanks introduced me to their pastor (Kornegay), we discovered we shared the same vision of building a healing center,” Kirk said.
Both Kirk and Kornegay shared the vision of having a center for people experiencing tough times.
“It is a dual project. We are working together to accomplish something wonderful. We have the same vision,” Kornegay said. “We are dealing with the whole man. When people leave the healing center and go back into the community, they will walk out whole,” Kornegay said.
“I realized we had a homeless problem in Liberty County about 14 years ago. A young man was sleeping under the bridge on Highway 84, and I took him into my home. After all these years, I still keep in contact with him and he is like my son. He is doing fine,” Kornegay said.
She said her home has been open for people who did not have anywhere else to go.
Kornegay and her husband, Charles, are pastors of Liberty Tabernacle of Prayer in Hinesville. They recently moved into a new sanctuary, and the church is growing rapidly .
“Pastor Kornegay has been there from the start. She is such an inspiration. Without her, I would not have gone as far as I have gone with this vision,” Kirk said. “Liberty Tabernacle helped us to acquire the land to build the healing center on.”
Plans are under way to begin construction of the Kirk Healing Center after the first of the year. “We have been awarded some grants and are waiting to be awarded others,” noted Kirk.  
The center will provide a new start for the homeless and others in need by providing counseling and education to assist them in becoming independent and self-reliant.
“We will assist them to become free of any impairment which may have a hold on them,” Kirk said.
Services will include anger management, relationship skills, parenting, behavior modification, setting and reaching goals, assistance with legal papers, basic computer skills, life skills including financial budgeting and check writing, room and board while in the facility housing assistance when time to leave the facility, GED preparation, health and fitness, nutrition and CPR, substance abuse, and job search and assistance.
 “I have traveled worldwide and have presented many training classes in Australia. My forte has been building healthy relationships. We are putting together a wonderful team. I have worked with people from all religions, races, and cultures,” Kirk said.
The center has a diverse board of directors. Members include Kornegay (chairwoman), Kirk (co-chairwoman), Dr. Glenn Carter (internist), Dr. Ade Dosunmu (psychiatrist), Lemuel Johns (administrator), the Rev. Charles Kornegay (retiree), Marshall McDermitt (business administration), Jeff Osteen (legal counsel), Dr. Jody Pittman (OD), Gary Dodd (businessman), Victor Shank (treasurer), Melody Todd (hospital services), and Andrew Smith (business administration).  
If you want to make a tax-free contribution, make your check payable to The Kirk Healing Center and send it to P.O. Box 2485, Hinesville, GA, 31310. You can also donate furniture for the trailers. The center also is looking for volunteers. Call Kirk or Kornegay at 369-2402 for more information.
 

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