Our community will gather to honor the lives of our dead on International Overdose Memorial Day: Friday, August 31, 2018. The setting will be the beautiful North East Community Park by the North East River. This event will provide an opportunity to come together and reflect on lives cut short. Participants are invited to share photos or stories, only if comfortable to do so. Luminaries, electric candles and art supplies will be provided. Ambient music will set the tone.
All are welcome. This is event will have no vendors or promotion during the event.
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.
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!
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.
8 Cecil County recovery allies met on Saturday, July 7 at West End Gardens Motel to clean the stretch of Route 40 in front of the Cecil County Detention Center and Hollingsworth Manor in Elkton, MD. Clean ups are required quarterly as part of the agreement to Adopt-A-Highway through the State Highway Administration but Voices of Hope has been doing it more frequently this year.
“It feels good to give back and to make a positive contribution to our community”, stated one participant, a young woman who is in recovery and lives in a Cecil County recovery house.
“I think it is important to show the families that live in this area that they do matter and people do care about them, especially the children.” said Voices of Hope President, Jennifer Tuerke.
Mike Massuli, Deputy Director of the Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center at the Cecil County Health Department, was also present to contribute to the shared mission. The group hopes to expand their operation to locations in or around Lakeside Trailer Park and Winding Brook. If you would like to participate in the clean up effort or other programs with Voices of Hope, please email email@example.com.
Please join us in planning, preparing and serving lunch to our homeless and disadvantaged families in Elkton at the Paris Foundation. During this time, we reach out and build supportive relationships. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to donate and/or serve. We commit to this service every quarter of each year.
15 people supported the Recovery Town Hall on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at the Cecilton Community Center. 5 residents of the area, including Crystal Beach and Earleville, were in attendance. Although there were no town officials, first responders or safety officers present, citizens from around the County attended to show their support of our neighbors south of the Canal.
Local treatment representatives were Mike Massuli, Deputy Director of the Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center at the Cecil County Health Department and Patrick Webb, a Peer Recovery Advocate at ADRC. Two employees from Recovery Centers of America (RCA) attended: a driver in recovery and a Recovery Support Specialist, along with an alumni from RCA. Lorri Irgang from Maryland Coalition of Families was also in attendance. Two members from the Cecil County Progressive Caucus who support recovery were participants as well. A mother who lost her daughter to overdose in Earleville attended along with the residents of the area. People in recovery/sobriety and our supporters made up this Recovery Town Hall.
The group discussed the most current overdose fatality statistics available: out of the 35 overdose deaths in Cecil County this year, 6 are from this remote area (1 from Cecilton, 5 from Earleville). Recognized barriers to recovery are a lack of transportation to treatment and supports, zero 12-step meetings south of the Canal and no recovery housing. Finding childcare while the parent/caregiver attends treatment is also a barrier that was discussed. Online support meetings are not easily accessible in this area where wifi can be very spotty.
Solutions involved coordinating efforts to take interested people to meetings in Middletown, Delaware through Cecil Transit. A resident talked about how this is currently a practice for seniors in this area getting their prescriptions filled. Another solution is to approach RCA and ask for support with providing a place for recovery support meetings to occur regularly. We talked about how and who to proceed with these solutions.
Mike Massuli trained 5 residents to administer Narcan.
Our next Recovery Town Hall Meeting will be held in Rising Sun, MD. Always on the second Wednesday of each month. Please join us and be a part of the solution in Cecil County!
26 people who support recovery attended the free Recovery Volunteer Training on June 9, 2018 at the Susquehanna Workforce Center in Elkton, Maryland. Attendees were introduced to a brief overview of harm reduction, trauma-informed care and addiction and mental health resources in Cecil County. Also discussed are the barriers that many in our community face in regard to access to and coordination of care, family preservation and lack of accessible shelters in Cecil County.
Participants were offered Narcan training and medication by the Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center at the Cecil County Health Department.
These volunteers were invited to take part in Voices of Hope Outreach Teams that will be engaging with the community in various settings:
Overdose Response Team
Overdose Death Compassion Team
If you are interested in participating in any of these efforts, or volunteering your talent in another way (administration, marketing, training, fundraising, etc) please email email@example.com
You will learn about harm reduction, trauma-informed care and local resources available to our community for treatment, support, healing and hope.
No commitment is necessary to attend. Get the information and decide what calls out to you. Involvement can be as little as 2 hours a month or multiple days of time. Turn your concern into action and be a part of the solution in Cecil County!
People in recovery, family members and allies came together on May 28, 2018 to honor our fallen service men and women and to celebrate our freedom. RYD Entertainment played music until Gunsmoke headlined at 1:30 pm. People played flag football, tug-of-war and corn hole while children played in the moon bounce and got their faces painted among bubbles blowing in the air. There were raffles and prizes for the smallest and biggest fish of the fishing tournament. Free chair massages were offered and an introduction to yoga session offered a peace break during the afternoon.
Winner of Tug of War: The Anonymous Team
Winner of Biggest Fish: Carter DeStafano
Winner of Smallest Fish: Sean Martineau
Best of all, we made new friends, spent time with old ones and strengthened our alliances to build our recovery capital in Cecil County! Thank you to everyone who made this celebration possible, we could not do it without you. Here are just a few special moments: