Tag Archives: Voices of Hope for Cecil County

Cecil County Overdose Candlelight Vigil 2019

Voices of Hope and Healing Hearts will host a candlelight vigil service on International Overdose Awareness day, August 31, 2019. This is the 6th annual gathering of families and loved ones at the Gilbert Lighthouse Pavilion at the North East Community Park. From 6:30 pm until sunset, families are encouraged to attend and decorate a luminary for free. There will be crafts for children to create and take home. Rob Robinson will play an acoustic set that will accompany the river backdrop. There will be speakers and an opportunity for to share about the life of their loved one, if so moved.

Jourdan Creations is offering T-shirts for $20 that include your loved one’s name and photo for this event. This is not a fundraiser. Please call (410) 920-3290 to order.

Healing Hearts is an Overdose Death Grief Support Group held at the Voices of Hope office at 224 E. Main St. in Elkton every other Wednesday. The next meeting is Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 6:30 pm. All are welcome.

Cecil County lost 57 people in 2018 to overdose. We have had led the state with the most amount of overdoses per capita for the past several years, behind Baltimore City. Voices of Hope strives to end overdose deaths. We advocate for the dignity and respect for families who are struggling with addiction and those who lost the fight in Cecil County.

Fighting for Families Recovery Banquet 2019

Voices of Hope invites you to attend our 4th Annual Gratitude Banquet on March 23, 2019 at NorthBay in North East, Maryland. This fundraiser is our opportunity to show appreciation for those who have made an impact on the fight for recovery in Cecil County. This year’s theme is “Fighting for Families” and will allow us to shine a light on individuals whose compassion is outstanding.

Our main speaker will be Judge Jane Murray, Associate Judge for the Cecil County Circuit Court. A graduate from Elkton High School and past Attorney for the Domestic Violence Program, Judge Murray understands the culture of our community and the challenges of families struggling for a new life in recovery.

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Please join us in celebrating this year’s amazing honorees:

Jennifer LePore – for her selfless service supporting Voices of Hope and Healing Hearts – our overdose death grief support group.

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Karen and her daughter Courtney, who passed March, 2011

Karen Prettyman-Bishop and Addiction Connections Resource – for compassionate and dedicated support of Cecil County people in recovery, notably the Mommy & Me Oxford House in Elkton.

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Lorri Irrgang – with Maryland Coalition of Families, for going above and beyond to help Cecil County families struggling with addiction to find recovery supports and a voice for self advocacy.

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Jack and one of his many close friends!

Jack Foraker – for being the “Rock of Sobriety” for Cecil County. Life-long resident of North East and currently Executive Director of Haven House, he has been a model of service and recovery for over 35 years.

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VoH Recovery Volunteer Orientation

Ready to take your service to the next level?   We can use your help!  We need Team Members for:

Hope Street Outreach – distribute safe use and safe sex information and materials in Hollingsworth Manor, Winding Brook, Lakeside Trailer Park and Downtown Elkton.  Make relationships, help people access treatment and care, provide peer support.

Homeless Outreach – work with people who are without homes or are in extreme poverty.  Help them to access services and substance use/mental health treatment and peer support.

Overdose Survivor Outreach – actively reach those who have survived an overdose.  Offer treatment, recovery support and relationship.

Healing Hearts – be a support to someone who has experienced a death of a loved one.  Attend the bi-weekly support group meeting.

We will be reviewing the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist credential and how you can get on track to earn this through Voices of Hope.

We also have need of technology, administrative, social media and advocacy volunteers.

OR you can just attend this session to learn about all the different addiction treatment modalities available in this area and recovery support organizations we know of.  NO commitment is necessary to attend.  Tickets are being assigned due to limited space available.

All are welcome!

Healing Hearts – Overdose Death Grief Support Group

Losing someone to overdose is not only devastating, it is a unique experience that can make us feel isolated in our grief.  You don’t have to cope alone, there are people who care.  Call Voices of Hope to be connected to someone who knows what it is like and to get support.

Attend the support group in North East that meets every other week.  If you choose, you can join in our advocacy efforts to prevent this experience for others.

Healing Hearts  (443) 993-7055

Find us on Facebook and join our online group.

VoH Recovery Volunteer Orientation

Ready to take your service to the next level?   We can use your help!  We need Team Members for:

Hope Street Outreach – distribute safe use and safe sex information and materials in Hollingsworth Manor, Winding Brook, Lakeside Trailer Park and Downtown Elkton.  Make relationships, help people access treatment and care, provide peer support.

Homeless Outreach – work with people who are without homes or are in extreme poverty.  Help them to access services and substance use/mental health treatment and peer support.

Overdose Survivor Outreach – actively reach those who have survived an overdose.  Offer treatment, recovery support and relationship.

Healing Hearts – be a support to someone who has experienced a death of a loved one.  Attend the bi-weekly support group meeting.

We will be reviewing the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist credential and how you can get on track to earn this through Voices of Hope.

We also have need of technology, administrative, social media and advocacy volunteers.

OR you can just attend this session to learn about all the different addiction treatment modalities available in this area and recovery support organizations we know of.  NO commitment is necessary to attend.  Tickets are being assigned due to limited space available.

All are welcome!

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!


Holiday Open House

Please stop in for some cookies and tea at our new office location!  Meet people in recovery, family members and allies who are a part of the solution to the addiction epidemic.  We will have a free holiday craft for kids!  All supporters and volunteers are encouraged to attend!  Bring an ornament with a picture of your loved one to add to our memorial tree.

Rotating Homeless Shelter Host Interest Meeting

Please join us to discuss hosting a week of the rotating homeless shelter at Five Rivers Church in Elkton, MD.  We will need to have enough volunteers to sign up to cook dinner, hang out and make new friends for 7 evenings.  We will need 2 people to sign up overnight.  You will not need to be there every evening, sign up for what works for you!  No commitment required to attend, listen and ask questions to decide!

Meet Our New Executive Director

Lisa Nurnberger has survived incredible odds to find recovery in Cecil County.

Lisa is originally from Elizabeth, NJ.  She was born with multiple health complications including spina bifida.  As a result of the constant care required to keep her alive, her young parents surrendered their parental rights when she was under a year old.  She was cared for by a foster family who was finally able to adopt her when she was 10.  Lisa struggled with her mental and emotional health while she was growing up and learning to live with her physical limitations.  There were conflicts and rebellion that made life tumultuous for her and her family.  Drinking and doing drugs were a part of her coping process.  Things really got worse after September 11, 2001.  Lisa was working on the 72nd floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center when the first plane hit. Several people carried her down all the stairs to get out of the building and survive.  “Afterwards, I had survivor’s guilt.  I felt like I should have died, too.”

The road to recovery began in Cecil County.  “I was living in North East and found myself on the 4th floor of Union Hospital after a deep depression.  Upon discharge, I attended therapy at Upper Bay.  I was looking for support and attended different 12-step fellowships in the area until I found one that fit me.”  Lisa is active in a fellowship that focuses on recovering from the impact of surviving in dysfunctional family systems.  She has found hope and purpose in recovery and wants to share it with others.

Lisa speaks openly about her experiences for audiences, recently at a World Convention of her fellowship in Canada.  She has been a volunteer with Voices of Hope for about 2 years and is very close to achieving the Maryland Certified Peer Recovery Specialist credential.  She has an Associates Degree and 2 Bachelor Degrees.  She is excited to take on this new role at Voices of Hope with the guidance and support of her friend and past Executive Director, Nicola Barteau.  “I am excited to see Voices of Hope grow to be the name people associate with recovery in Cecil County and even in the state, as we are in the forefront of helping people.  My point of view is that we have been there, we understand, even with different recovery pathways, we still relate.”

See Lisa’s recent VoH interview on our YouTube Channel.

There are a lot of changes happening at Voices of Hope as we grow to meet the challenges of supporting those who struggle with behavioral health disorders and their families.  In this process, the role of Executive Director has demanded more undivided attention to face those challenges.  In response, our beloved ED, Nicola Barteau, helped us to select one of our dedicated and qualified volunteers as our new Executive Director.  Responsible for executing the direction of our Board of Directors, Lisa connects with the operations of Voices of Hope, primarily through our Chief Operations Officer, Jennifer Tuerke. Please meet Lisa, our volunteers and employees at our Holiday Open House on December 21, 2018 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at 224 E. Main St. Elkton, MD  21921.


Healing Hearts Overdose Death Grief Support Group

Losing someone to overdose is not only devastating, it is a unique experience that can make us feel isolated in our grief.  You don’t have to cope alone, there are people who care.  Call Voices of Hope to be connected to someone who knows what it is like and to get support.

Attend the support group in North East that meets every other week.  If you choose, you can join in our advocacy efforts to prevent this experience for others.

Healing Hearts  (443) 993-7055