Employee Spotlight: Terrence Lacy

Growing up on Indianapolis’ near eastside, Terrence Lacy was well aware of the damage addiction wreaks on people and their communities.

“I had family members who were touched by it, so I saw how destructive it is,” said Lacy, a counselor who’s worked at Fairbanks almost 25 years. “I wanted to be part of the solution to that, not the problem. I think every family can honestly say they know someone who has shared in this struggle.”

A graduate of the University of Indianapolis and Martin University with degrees in psychology, Lacy became a counselor because of his love for helping others.

“Working with people and watching them take back their lives from addiction is a joy,” the avid Dallas Cowboys fan said. “It’s not always successful, but we’re planting the seeds. My joy comes from just being there for them in their time of need.”

Lacy’s job has been made more difficult in recent years as the potency of certain illicit drugs has increased.

“In my first 10 years on the job there really wasn’t much of a risk of death. In the last 15 years, I’ve had to visit many more funeral homes,” he said. “That’s the struggle. And while it may be a challenge, there’s also the joy when you see the light return to someone’s eyes and hear them talk about future plans. There’s no value you can place on seeing someone get their life back like that, or see a family that was once torn apart now reunited.”

Lacy keeps numerous drawings on one wall of his office that’ve been given to him over the years. One, by a patient’s mother, has a panel depicting family members with their hair on fire. A second panel – illustrating life after treatment – represents calm and a return to normalcy.

“That to me is why I still do what I do,” Lacy said. “It’s been a blessing and a joy. I wouldn’t want to do anything else but this.”

Lacy was the first counselor designated by Fairbanks to work with males ages 19-24 in the Odyssey program. Because of his focus on a younger demographic, Lacy sees many former patients flourish in their recovery. He gives those who successfully complete his treatment program a certificate. One of those graduates recently contacted Lacy after many years of sobriety.

“He found his certificate and just wanted to tell me how he was doing and how proud he was when he got that,” Lacy said.

He also has former patients who now work at Fairbanks.

“That’s cool to see the results of their journeys and how they’re helping others now. They’ve become part of the family here.”