LEXINGTON, Ky. — Community members are restoring a fence dedicated to Lexington's victims of addiction and those recovering after the site was left with trash and property removed. 

What You Need To Know

  • Locks for Addiction is a purple fence in Lexington that raises awareness for victims of drug addiction and celebrates those who have recovered

  • Pam Stamper created the memorial

  • Recently, the land and fence for Locks for Addiction was damaged and removed

  • Days after its destruction, community members fixed the site

Locks for Addiction makes a statement on Newtown Pike in Lexington. It's a bright purple fence with a dozen rows of locks. Some locks have names, dates and pictures for sentimental value. 

It's inspired by Pam Stamper's son, Chelis Stamper, who lost his life at 29 years old to addiction. 

In 2020, she created the memorial to preserve his story. Now, it features hundreds of others with stories of their own either "locking in" their sobriety or remembering a loss. 

Stamper said to her surprise, the area recently had trees and debris scattered around the site, and her original fence was removed. 

Locks for Addiction was established in 2020 for the community to remember loved ones and record their sobriety date in their addiction recovery journey. (Spectrum News 1/Sabriel Metcalf)

“I came down one day to check on this, and the sign was gone," Stamper said. "I lost it.” 

She said she felt like her son’s legacy and those she shared the fence with were disrespected. That led her to doing a Facebook Live, where her grief was met with help from more than 50 people anonymously helping restore the fence. 

“Everybody pitched in and started picking up garbage debris ... we started it together, and like I said, as a community, these were total strangers to me," Stamper said. 

Volunteers donated new benches and three tons of gravel to create a path.

Three days after her Facebook Live, someone anonymously donated a brand new sign. 

Stamper thinks the site resonates with more than she knows and for important reasons, she said.

“I don't think it's going to end," she said. "I think it's going to continue to grow. Addiction is out there; addiction (has) touched every family out here, and this proves it.”

Stamper said the area around the fence is almost fully restored.