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Hometown Heroes Part 3: Recovery Home Founder Helps People Beat Addiction

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A Charlottesville woman is ensuring recovering addicts stay on the straight and narrow by providing them a safe and supportive home.

Dorothy Tompkins opened the nonprofit Georgia's Healing House in 2016, and is now being recognized by the law firm Allen & Allen as one of its Hometown Heroes.

Her goal is to create a safe place for them to recover and heal, and some now see Tompkins as a mentor. For others, she’s become a friend.

“There's very few people who come along in your life that you're like, ‘wow, she's just totally authentically awesome,’” says Sue Hess, the executive director of Georgia’s Healing House.

When Hess saw an ad for Allen & Allen law firm's Hometown Hero campaign, it was a no-brainer.

“It said something like, 'time to nominate your hero,' and I'm going, 'there's no question who my hero is,’" says Hess.

Tompkins has been Hess's hero since they met three years ago.

Tompkins was determined to help women in Charlottesville and Albemarle County battle addiction, and Hess wanted to help make that goal a reality.

“Women had become addicted and did not have a safe, supportive place to work on their early recovery,” says Tompkins.

Her interest in this cause is personal.

“In 2006, a woman named Georgia committed suicide in jail essentially because of her addiction to alcohol,” says Tompkins.

And at the time, Tompkins was in recovery as well.

She was an alcoholic and although she was able to overcome her addiction, she saw a need for others in the community who weren’t having as much luck with kicking their addiction.

“And we felt that if she'd had this kind of supportive women's community to live in that that might not have happened,” says Tompkins.

That's how Georgia's Healing House got its start.

“Dorothy in her own quiet but wise way sort of led the charge," says Hess.

Now that initial charge has helped many women on their path to recovery.

“It's a very good balance between a lot of support, but also a lot of accountability,” says Tompkins.

Allen & Allen chose Tompkins as one of 20 of its Hometown Heroes, and she’s one of four from the greater Charlottesville area.

“She certainly deserves to be a local hero,” says Hess.

For Thursday's final installment of Hometown Heroes, hear from Myra Anderson who works as an advocate for mental health and physical fitness through a book group she founded to help empower young girls.