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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

Pre-empted 'First Step Home' program airs June 9 & June 11 on WCPO-TV

Katie from First Step Home 2 crop.jpg
Courtesy First Step Home
Katie, who lives at the First Step Home addiction treatment center with her son, is one of the women featured in the "First Step Home Award Celebration" TV special.

Half-hour TV show profiles several mothers seeking substance abuse treatment at Walnut Hills facility.

Update 9:20 a.m. Monday June 6: The First Step Home addiction treatment special pre-empted by President Joe Biden's press conference last Thursday will air twice this week on WCPO-TV.

The First Step Home Award Celebration airs 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9, and repeats 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11.

Original post June 1, 2022: For a second year, the First Step Home addiction treatment center will promote its success helping mothers on WCPO-TV with the First Step Home Award Celebration airing 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2.

First Step Home is unique because children up to age 12 can stay with the mothers participating in the program, instead of being sent to foster care or to relatives. Founded in 1993, First Step Home has grown to 12 homes and facilities within a three-block walk of the main offices at 2203 Fulton Ave. in Walnut Hills.

A half dozen mothers will appear in filmed segments, including one about the Family Unity Center, says Rachel Lyon, development director and executive producer of the show.

"We house the mothers during treatment, and let them live with their kids up to age 12. We're the only place that does that, keeping the mother and children together."

The facility provides individual and group counseling for the mothers, their children and significant others.

"A lot of these women don't know about parenting, or how to say no to their kids, or how to put healthy food into them or themselves," says Lyon, a former Northern Kentucky University teacher who has made 65 documentaries for Ted Turner's United Nations Foundation, National Geographic, public broadcasting and other outlets.

Another segment will show the new Recovery Support Center, or drug withdrawal management (detox) program. Mona Morrow, who retired in April after 22 years as WCPO-TV public affairs director, will host the telecast, which will also serve as an on-air fundraiser.

Awards will be presented to Delores Massey Thomas, Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Lyon says.

"We're able to bring attention to people doing great things for us, and the community in general," Lyons says.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.