Tag Archives: Voices of Hope for Cecil County

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!

 

Hope Street Backpack Outreach Begins in Cecil County

Trained volunteers hit the streets in October to make relationships and to offer resources, safe use and safe sex materials throughout Cecil County, Maryland.  Hope Street is the backpack outreach team of Voices of Hope, Inc.  Volunteers are people in recovery, family members and those who support recovery in Cecil County.  Hope Street volunteers have been trained in harm reduction and trauma-informed care.  They are given information and training to connect people with treatment providers and recovery supports.

Teams walk through 3 neighborhoods on a weekly basis, always at the same time.  The SHE Unit is building relationships with sex workers in our County.  The police and sheriff departments are aware of the shifts and the identifiers that indicate Voices of Hope volunteers.

This outreach is an effort to build helping relationships and reduce the harm that comes with chaotic drug use.  By offering safe sex and safe use equipment, Voices of Hope will reduce the number of those acquiring infections and serious, expensive health conditions like Hepatitis C and HIV.  The teams also collect and dispose of discarded needles if any are found along the routes.  Narcan will be distributed with training to anyone interested.

One of the best results of this outreach is building new relationships with people who care about their neighbors.  Many good citizens are in these neighborhoods and want to contribute to the well being of their communities.  Together, we will carry a message of caring, health and help to get to the next step of a recovery journey.

Want to join our teams?  Plan to attend the next Volunteer Recovery Army Training on November 3, 2018 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, location to be announced.  Stay tuned to our Facebook page or website for information or sign up to our email list by request email to voicesofhope414@gmail.com.

 

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

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

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.

Cecil County Overdose Vigil 2018

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.

Cecil County Residents Prepare to Combat Addiction, Group 2

People in recovery, family members and concerned citizens attended the 2nd Recovery Volunteer Army training on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at the Susquehanna Workforce Center in Elkton, MD.  In this three hour training, participants learned about harm reduction and trauma informed care.  They also received general information about all approaches to addiction treatment and support available in Cecil County.  Training included information about homeless shelters and service providers, mental health treatment providers, how to access the Mobile Crisis Unit and Suicide Hotline.

Training also included statistics about the health and well being of Cecil County residents, as found on reports from the Cecil County Health Department, available on their website.

Participants were invited to join an outreach team at the close of the training.  They were asked to use the information in the neighborhood in which they live or work.  A brief overview of the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist credential was also explained and support offered.

Voices of Hope appreciates the individuals who have stepped up to be a part of the solution to the addiction epidemic.  It is wrecking havoc and heartache on our community.  Education, conversation, community networking and support is key.  It takes follow up action that will make the difference in the recovery of our community:  one person, one family at a time.  Together, we must advocate for change – a change of heart, a change of policies and a comprehensive plan to bring treatment providers, recovery supports and community organizations together, empower them, cut through the red tape and appropriately respond to the emergency situation we are in.  This epidemic is killing our neighbors and abandoning children in it’s wake.  These are the concerned citizens that will make the difference.

 

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

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!