Category Archives: Advocacy

Community Leaders Highlight Voices of Hope Recovery Banquet

This event is SOLD OUT as of 2/5/2020. Sponsorships are still available and silent auction items are deeply appreciated!

Voices of Hope’s 5th Annual Recovery Gratitude Banquet will feature community leaders who have made a monumental difference in the lives of Cecil County residents affected by the addiction epidemic. The event will take place Saturday, February 15, 2020 at Rosewood Farms in Elkton, Maryland. Tickets are $60 and will include dinner, silent auction and special speakers. This is Voices of Hope’s annual fundraiser to help local people overcome barriers to recovery from addiction in Cecil County. Here are the community leaders who will share how and why they take the road less traveled to help so many.

We are pleased to announce that our evening will begin with opening remarks from Robin Rickard, Deputy Director/Chief of Staff for Governor Hogan’s Opioid Operational Command Center.

Officer Jakob Brown

Officer Jakob Brown is a patrol officer who has been with the Elkton Police Department for 3 years. His trauma-informed approach to law enforcement has inspired individuals engaged in the criminal justice system to find hope for a new life in recovery. Ofc J.Brown was awarded Officer of the Year in 2018 for his police work and efforts in the community.  He continues to be a figure in the community for his upstanding work as an Elkton Police officer.

Linda Williams

Linda Williams is the current Executive Director at Addiction Connections Resource in Harford County. Linda lost her daughter Jessie in 2007. Her compassion and advocacy for people seeking recovery has helped many individuals in Cecil County to access treatment and supports. She has been working with substance users and their families since 1996. Linda was appointed the Governor Hogan’s Emergency Opioid and Heroin Task Force in 2015. She continues to make a real impact on saving lives throughout Maryland.

Richard Raftery

Richard Raftery is a Peer Advocate at the Cecil County Health Department. Since moving to Cecil County from Philadelphia, he has been an indispensable asset to families seeking treatment for their loved ones in our area. Richard goes above and beyond his position with the State of Maryland, meeting people on nights and weekends to be sure they have the transportation, treatment connections and recovery supports they need to improve their lives.

Chris Pederson

Chris Pedersen is a person in long term recovery originally from Cecil County. He is a father, an employee, a son and a brother. He gives back to the community by helping others find hope to recover from addiction. He uses his own personal experience to uplift individuals seeking recovery.

Dr. Niaz

Dr. Niaz has been a practicing physician for over twenty years, and during his career, he has had a particular interest in the treatment of addiction. He has treated Cecil County residents for opioid addiction and has made his services available to those in substance use crisis after hours and on weekends. He understands the urgency and life threatening situation of the opioid epidemic in Cecil County and gives his expertise as part of the solution.

Voices of Hope will also honor their Volunteer of the Year!

We are grateful for our Platinum sponsors for their generosity and support!

Check out our Facebook page for current Silent Auction items!

Call Voices of Hope at (443) 993-7055 for tickets and sponsorship opportunities. Ticket sales end on February 4 and no tickets will be available at the door. Voices of Hope, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 grass roots recovery community organization originating in Cecil County, Maryland.

Learning to Represent at “Recovery is the Message” Training

People in recovery and family members attended the Faces and Voices of Recovery Messaging Training on August 30, 2018 at the Susquehanna Workforce Center in Elkton, MD.  Over 30 people were in attendance to learn how to carry the message that recovery works!  Whether in private settings or with the media, the group practiced how to hone their recovery story into one voice with a message that we do recover.

Presenters were Chelsea Duiett from Bowling Green Brandywine and Brandon Welsch, Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs at the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration.  Sponsors were Voices of Hope and the University of Maryland Training Center.  Training space was donated by the Susquehanna Workforce Center.

Participants also earned 6 CEUs for the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist credential in Maryland.

Thank you to all who attended, go carry the message!!!

Recovery Messaging Training

North East Recovery Town Hall Attracts 30 Participants

Families who have found recovery, those who seek it for a loved one and families who lost the battle were among the group who attended the North East Recovery Town Hall at St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church parish house on Wednesday, August 8, 2018.  Voices of Hope planned and invited the community to attend.

“We never know who will show up.” said Jennifer Tuerke, President of the Board of Directors of Voices of Hope, Inc.   “We just set the date and invite everyone:  treatment providers, recovery supporters, people who seek recovery and those who have found it.  We want to bring the resources to the people, offer and listen to solutions, but most importantly, to build relationships.  Active and caring relationships are what makes a community whole and healthy.   We believe that, with our limited resources, it is our best defense against what is happening in our community”

Two people who are seeking Senator seats were in attendance.  Two area treatment providers were present:  Ashley Addiction Treatment and the Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center (ADRC) from the Cecil County Health Department.  Pastor Phil Meekins represented Monarch Recovery Ministries halfway houses and some of the women residents of the Amy House were present.  Father John Schaeffer of St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church talked about the 12-Step Recovery Church Service there on the second Sunday of each month and the food provided to those in need twice a week.  Many people in recovery attended as well as family members whose children are in recovery.  Some were seeking treatment and recovery supports for a loved one.  A grieving mother was attending the Recovery Town Hall before the Healing Hearts Overdose Death Grief Support Group meeting across the street later that night.  She shared a brief introduction which brought many to tears.

Voices of Hope presented how people can get involved in helping and healing our community by attending the Recovery Volunteer Army training on August 25, 2018 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Susquehanna Workforce Center in Elkton.  Information about treatment and recovery supports in Cecil County will be shared, and how to access them.  Training will also cover harm reduction principles and trauma informed care.  After completing this training, one can decide to join an Outreach Team or just take the information home with them.

5 people were Narcan trained by ADRC at this event.  Amazing donuts and coffee was provided by the Chesapeake Bay Coffee Company in North East.  Thank you to all who participated – you make a difference!

 

 

 

VoH Speaks Up at Recovery Advocacy Day in D.C.

Alyssa Holsopple is a member of the Voices of Hope backpack outreach and homeless engagement teams and is a resident of Cecil County.  She drove early to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 to represent the needs of our local recovery community.  She joined a team from across Maryland to advocate for recovery issues and resources to our policy makers.  The day was coordinated by Faces and Voices of Recovery and started with a briefing sponsored by the House Bipartisan Heroin and Opioid Task Force.  Afterwards, Alyssa met with a member of the appropriations committee and representative for Congressman Andy Harris.  Following that, she met with a Staff Aide for Senator Van Hollen.

Alyssa said that the advocacy team talked about bills currently being considered that need funding added for recovery supports.  They stressed that the funding going into the existing treatment structure just is not enough.  The Federal block grants given to the states for prevention and recovery gets significantly cut by the time the money gets to where it is intended.  They also discussed how the overall correctional system needs monetary support for recovery programs.  Alyssa said the briefing included representatives from New Hampshire and Maine who talked about how the addiction problem effects so many.  The representative from Maine shared about how his brother died from an overdose.    The representative from New Hampshire has a brother in recovery.

Alyssa represents Voices of Hope – people in recovery, family members and allies who support recovery in Cecil County, Maryland.  She makes a difference by being an active part of the solution to the behavioral health crisis we all face.  You can too.  Join Voices of Hope and come to our next Volunteer Recovery Army training on August 25 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Susquehanna Workforce Center in Elkton.