J’s Place Recovery Center received its building off Lanier Park Drive in Gainesville as a donation from the J.A. Walters family in memory of Dallas and Jeffery Gay Monday morning.
“Their [J.A. Walters family] support along with many other local merchants, vendors and contractors have allowed J’s Place to flourish and serve Dallas’ vision much sooner than we could have ever imagined over the past several years,” Board Member Rob Robinson said at the dedication ceremony Monday.
According to its website, J’s Place, or the Jeffery Dallas Gay Recovery Center, is a non-profit organization that provides ‘a place of sanctuary’ for people who are recovering from alcoholism or opioid addiction.
The recovery center was named in memory of Jeffery Dallas Gay, Jr, a 21-year-old Gainesville man who died of an opioid overdose in 2012. His grandfather, Dallas Franklin Gay, Jr, became an advocate for substance abuse in 2009 after he learned of his grandson’s ongoing struggle with recovery, Robinson said.
“Dallas worked tirelessly with legislators to create and pass a 911 medical amnesty law named the Jeffery Dallas Gay Act making the life-saving opioid reversal drug Naloxone available without a prescription and giving amnesty to anyone asking for medical help in the case of suspected drug overdose,” Robinson said.
Gay was also the co-founder of Project DAN (Deaths Avoided by Naloxone), which distributed more than 5,000 Naloxone kits to first responders, and the co-founder of Think About It, a campaign aimed to stop prescription drug abuse.
According to J's Place Executive Director Jordan Hussey, the recovery center will honor both the Gay and Walters families on its premisies with a Japanese Maple tree and memorial plaque.
“[The Japanese Maple was planted] because it’s such a unique gift of beauty, which is what Dallas and Jim [J.A. Walters] have been to us,” Hussey said.