Tag Archives: Voices of Hope 2018

Who Have We Reached in 2018?

Voices of Hope is an organization made up of people in recovery, along with family members and allies who support recovery. We have been working together to advocate and build recovery supports in our community since 2013. This year has been our busiest ever. Your donations of time, talents and treasures have made results that we are proud to report. We hope to inspire community members to continue to support us, or maybe give for the first time.

We have three main initiative where we focus our efforts.

  • Outreach – going into the communities and neighborhoods that are hardest hit by this epidemic.
  • CPRS Academy – providing training to our members so they are best informed to provide help to others, as well as creating a career path for those in recovery who often times face barriers to employment.
  • Fundraising – raising money to overcome barriers to treatment and providing funding for recovery housing to people in early recovery.

Outreach

We began most of our official outreach programs in October, 2018. Our approach is based on harm reduction, reducing overdose deaths and addressing the various other health issues that plague our communities. We are also a connection to recovery for them if they decide to ask for help. Hope Street, our backpack outreach program, provides health resources and builds recovery relationships in our most disadvantaged areas: Hollingsworth Manor, Lakeside Trailer Park, Winding Brook and Downtown Elkton. Our Homeless Outreach provides peer support and engagement at Paris Foundation, the Mary Randall Center and everywhere in-between. Our Overdose Survivor Outreach engages people who survive an overdose at their homes and with their families. Here is our data from October 1 through December 22, 2018:

  • 484 Connections (conversations and engagement)
  • 178 Safe Use Bags given (wound care, clean supplies, resources)
  • 121 Safe Sex Bags given (condoms, dental dams, resources)
  • 102 doses of Narcan given
  • 53 Discarded syringes collected
2018 VoH town hall

103 people attended 6 Town Hall meetings that we held throughout Cecil County. At these Town Halls, we invited local people to talk about their own recovery, the strengths that support recovery and some barriers that we would work together to overcome.

Healing Hearts Overdose Death Grief Support Group formed in March, 2018 and meets every other week. This group is for the families and friends of our neighbors who have lost someone they love to addiction. We are a place to grieve openly, when you want, how you want, with people who understand.

70 people attended Financial Capabilities classes held throughout the year, teaching people new in recovery or anyone interested how to better manage finances.

668 people attended various activities hosted by VoH: our Gratitude Banquet, Adopt-A-Hwy clean ups, Memorial Day cook out, etc. These events help promote the positive effects that recovery has on the entire community. When people recover, so do their families, friends and neighbors.

Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Academy

1st VOH Outreach Volunteer Trainees June, 2018

74 people attended 4 Recovery Volunteer Army Trainings that introduced Cecil County statistics on drug use and overdoses, domestic violence, abuse and neglect. Training was given on principles of trauma-informed care and harm reduction to people interested in helping their neighbors. These trainings are given free of charge. Attendees were invited to sign up to a VoH volunteer outreach team.

Recovery Advocates
CPRS Academy training 2018

282 people were trained in courses that gave CEUs for the Maryland Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Credential. Courses included Recovery Coach Academy, Trauma-Informed Care for Peers, Harm Reduction for Peers, Recovery Messaging and Mental Health First Aid for Adults and Youth. We believe each student is better capable of carrying the message of recovery to those who suffer at any stage of sickness or in a crisis.

Fundraising

$2,508 was given to residents seeking recovery supportive housing in Cecil County as they left treatment, or to continue their housing during periods of difficulty. We also were able to provide transportation to treatment for people who had no other way to get there.

We believe that addiction and recovery is a health issue. By providing our community with the tools and information to stay alive and access treatment, we will lower the number of deaths by overdose. By providing safe use and safe sex equipment with resources, we will prevent infections that are costly to treat and can be barriers to recovery. By keeping people alive and out of jail, we will keep families together and reduce the trauma and cost of providing care for children living without their parents. By providing Narcan to people who use drugs, we are empowering people to save each other, more often.

Mark on Hope Street Outreach

Our volunteers and employees are people who are in recovery or family members of people in recovery. We reflect all pathways of addiction and mental health recovery and are passionate about the people of Cecil County, Maryland. We care and will go above and beyond to help someone seeking recovery. Our problem here is big and it will take big hearts to make the difference.

If addiction has touched your life or someone you love, please consider giving what you can to our mission: Attend a Volunteer Orientation and join a team that works with your schedule. Donate funds that will be used to purchase Narcan and contribute to someone’s safe place in recovery. Reach out to us and be a face and voice of recovery in a video or story of hope. Thank you!


Hope Street Outreach: Giving Back by Reaching Out

Our outreach teams believe in the transformative power of recovery.  Our lives have been forever changed by this power.  Hope Street is our action of gratitude:  reaching out to addicts, offering relationship, information, resources and recovery.  Leading up to Giving Tuesday, Voices of Hope wants you to know how your donation is investing in our community response to the addiction epidemic in Cecil County.  One way is through funding supplies, training and coordination of our Hope Street Outreach.  This team’s focus is building helping relationships in the communities that need it most.  We talk and relate to people as equals.  Our mission is to give hope that recovery is possible for all.  Team members have been trained in harm reduction principles, trauma informed care and local treatment and recovery support organizations.  Many friendships have been made and community trust in Voices of Hope as a helping organization is growing.

Teams of two go out routinely every week in Hollingsworth Manor, Lakeside Trailer Park, Downtown Elkton and Winding Brook.  Teams include people who live and recover in these neighborhoods.

In October, Hope Street made 127 connections in 22 walks.  2 sex workers in Elkton were connected to treatment and recovery supports in our first week.  We offer information on how to get into treatment, 12-step meeting information and crisis hotline numbers.  We also give  the walk-in treatment times for the Health Clinic at the Cecil County Health Department.  We know that giving information and encouraging people who use drugs to seek prevention and treatment will lower infections and Hepatitis C transmission.  People will find recovery.  Families will be saved.

Your funds pay for pamphlet printing, condoms, safe use and wound care supplies, needle collection equipment (we clean them up on the street) and for the purchase of Narcan.  By distributing Naloxone to the people who use drugs and their families, we believe the number of overdose deaths will decrease.

Please support Voices of Hope as your charity of choice this Giving Tuesday.  Your investment makes Cecil a safer place to live and raise our children.  Thank you!

 

5th Annual Overdose Vigil and Awareness Day

Voices of Hope joined forces with Youth Empowerment Source (YES), Maryland Coalition of Families and local churches to host a day of activities for International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, 2018.  A Prayer Breakfast was held at Wesley United Methodist Church to start the day.  Members of the church and the Paris Foundation served a breakfast donated by Chik Fil A.  After breakfast, members of the community offered prayers out loud for the families and loved ones of those lost and for those who still suffer.

After breakfast, a Memorial Wall was constructed outside the old County Courthouse.  Names that had been emailed to YES were placed on the wall.  Others were added by friends and family as the event was carried out.  There were crafts for children, drinks and snacks while people shared about the lives of those lost.  Marc Butler, from Ashley Addiction Treatment, brought donuts to share with the group.  Dr. Alan McCarthy, the County Executive, and Judge Will Davis, stopped in to pay their respects.  Family members and friends braved the rain to express their grief for those whose lives were cut short by overdose.

In the evening, a candlelight vigil was held at the North East Community Park.  Attendees were invited to design a luminary for their loved one and to speak about their life and loss.  Josh, from an Elkton area recovery house, donated his talent and played music throughout the event.  Jim Kamahachi from St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church, gave the closing prayer as storms were approaching.  A huge fire on Route 40 kept many from getting to the event on time or at all.  Nonetheless, respectful space and condolences were expressed for those lost.

Thank you to the many Voices of Hope volunteers that made this day possible.  Their service to those who grieve and for those who have passed made this event possible.  Thank you to YES who gave extra attention to this issue that impacts too many of the youth they serve.  We are also grateful for the Christians from many organizations who participated, even when this has not effected them personally.  Thank you for your compassion and active involvement.  You make the new culture of Cecil County.

Voices of Hope Gratitude Banquet 2018

On Saturday, March 10, 2018, Voices of Hope hosted a banquet to express our gratitude for all of the Cecil County First Responders who administered Narcan and first aid to individuals experiencing an overdose in 2017.  This event was sold out beyond capacity.  In attendance were first responders, public safety officers, politicians and town officials, small business owners, treatment providers, people in recovery, family members and recovery supporters.

A recorded 587 people experienced an overdose in 2017 in Cecil County.  71 were fatal.  We credit our first responders and the increased availability and use of Narcan for those lives saved.  We chose to acknowledge and honor Officers First Class Jeremy Fuller and Thomas Saulsbury from the Elkton Police Department for saving Erin Woodie, a young mother from Cecil County.  Erin read the police report that was filed that day at the banquet.  She talked about her family and their gratitude for the Officers’ actions and humane treatment that day.  She credits them for saving her life, as she now is experiencing long term recovery.

photos by Jane Bellmyer, Cecil Whig

Also honored was Shelley Smith, a volunteer of Voices of Hope, Inc. for her grateful service and willingness to help achieve our mission.  We presented her with the Distinguished Volunteer Award.

Although music and dancing was available, most people opted for the free Narcan training at the end of the night, hosted by Mike Massuli and Katie Carroll from the Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center.  24 people received the training and took home the life saving medication.

Please check out all the photos from the night on our Facebook page or #VOHBanquet2018

We are so grateful for the sponsors and supporters that made this night such a success, thank you!

Union Hospital of Cecil County

Ashley Addiction Treatment

Project Chesapeake

Cecil College

Recovery Centers of America

A and M Tent Tents

A & M Elegant Affairs

David Heitur Fotograph

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD)

Chesapeake Bay Coffee Co.

DJ Jim Thornton

Your Personal Chef Catering

Delegate Kevin Hornberger

American Home & Hardware

Kristin Lewis

Elkton Carpet & Tile

Back Creek Golf Club

Timeless Body Arts

Youth Empowerment Source

Rebs Used Cars

Addiction Connections Resource (ACR)

Al Miller

Bill Coutz

I do! Weddings

Nancy Simpers

Tower Business Systems

Charlotte Howard

Rippin’ Hot Sauce Company

Oxford House of Delaware

Beacon Health Options