Tag Archives: Voices of Hope Maryland

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.

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.


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.

 

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.

Why We Pick Up Trash on Route 40

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 voicesofhope414@gmail.com.

 

5 Area Residents Attend Cecilton Recovery Town Hall

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!

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