We at Voices of Hope love partnering with the resources in our area. RCA has supported us over the years with scholarships for those in need and always tries to do what they can to support VoH. For Giving Tuesday last month they gave VoH $1,500!!! We could not be more grateful. Pictured is Michael Bradley and Ashley Petruno Treatment Advocates for RCA’s Bracebridge Hall location in Cecil County, dropping off the check to Executive Director Jennifer Tuerke and Peer Joe Bittner. We are so thankful that such a great facility is providing support for our community, and thinking about how they can give back to those in need, without resources! When major providers and non-profits work together, there is nothing we can’t do!
As part of a campaign to fight stigma, Voices of Hope is sharing stories of real people in our recovery community. Today, Jenny has stepped forward. Thank you, Jenny!
In December of 2012 I was offered help. I was full of shame, hate, and lies, and I was seriously confused. I didn’t know what exactly my problem was, but it became clear that alcohol was a big part of it. I entered an outpatient addiction recovery program and took some advice from a counselor. “GET INTO IT! ” he said, “give this a real good try and see if it works for you.” I stayed with that outpatient program for six months.
From there I continued my recovery from alcoholism with AA. I studied the literature, attended 2-3 meetings a week, and worked the 12 steps. I met people just like me, drank the way I did, and got well. These new sober friends lived a life like I wanted to have. I let them lead me. I also saw a therapist for about a year to work though specific mental health issues that I feel contributed to my alcohol addiction.
Today I have my family, marvelous friends, and a calm, loving home. I no longer hate myself and others – I feel like I belong. I have relationships with depth and compassion, the exact kinds of relationships that I craved all those drinking days but could never achieve in active addiction. I’m an honest person today, with healthy practices and a generous attitude. I GOT INTO IT!
Over the years in recovery, my spiritual interests swayed toward meditation and Buddhism so in 2018 I started a Buddhist recovery sangha in Cecil County. Sobriety gave me a second chance. I’m now 8 years sober and I’ve become the person I always wanted to be.
September is Recovery Month! We have a lot of fun events planned – something for everyone! This past Labor Day, we held our first Rubber Ducky Race and raised $480 for recovery supports (sober living, transportation, emergency needs, rent for the Recovery Center). Thank you to the owner of the winning ducky, Jackie Pettis, for donating her bounty back to Voices of Hope! You can watch the video filmed LIVE on Facebook here.
Voices of Hope recently signed a contract with the Cecil County Health Department to join our Peer Recovery Support Specialists and answer the Cecil Addiction Treatment Coordination Hotline – CATCH (443) 245-3257. Individuals struggling with substance use disorder or their family members can call this number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including nights, weekends and holidays to receive Peer Support and substance use crisis response. A press release will be going out shortly. We are excited to be collaborating with the Health Department to provide this much needed service, together.
Check out our newsletter below and participate in one of the many events in September! We welcome you. Our new monthly newsletter includes a story of a life impacted by Voices of Hope and donations from you – thank you!
BALTIMORE—Open Society Institute-Baltimore is investing $772,000 to support 23 organizations working with Marylanders who use drugs, are incarcerated, or were recently released from incarceration, and thus at increased risks of contracting COVID-19, suffering a fatal overdose, or being re-incarcerated. OSI chose grant recipients based on applications submitted in response to a request for proposals published in April.
“Our goal was to invest in organizations that are on the ground and providing critical support to individuals among those most at risk as a result of the pandemic and the related economic impact,” says Tara Huffman, director of OSI’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program, which jointly administered the grants with OSI’s Addiction and Health Equity Program. “These are organizations working tirelessly, very often with insufficient resources, to save lives. As the pandemic persists, we hope these funds will allow them to sustain and even scale up their efforts.”
“This grant from OSI will allow Voices of Hope to meet the increased demand for Narcan, harm reduction services and recovery support of individuals in Cecil and Harford Counties,” says Jennifer Tuerke, Executive Director of Voices of Hope, a Cecil County-based advocacy organization led by people in recovery that received $30,000 in general support. “The demand for services has increased over 100% since COVID. Without this funding, our outreach and services would have been significantly reduced. We are grateful for OSI and their expanded reach into more rural areas of Maryland, where overdose deaths are shockingly high.”
“These investments are a key component in OSI’s overall COVID response,” says OSI-Baltimore Director Danielle Torain. “Our goal from the beginning of the pandemic has been to work closely with people and organizations on the ground to identify ways to support those most impacted by the pandemic and corresponding economic downturn. These investments do exactly that.”
Thank you OSI!!!
During this month, Voices of Hope will reflect, honor and remember those who have lost their life to overdose or as a direct result of addiction. The month ends with our 7th Annual Overdose Death Candlelight Vigil. This year, it will be at the Elkmore Marina due to the local parks not scheduling groups. Just when I think I couldn’t be more shocked or numbed by the amount of overdoses, when 2020 was looking like our overdose death rates were actually going down, COVID hit and overdoses wiped out a whole new round of friends and family.
I could rattle off a bunch of numbers that show how many more people are dying than ever before. I could try to show you how much Narcan we have distributed in our effort to help or how many referrals to inpatient we have completed. Some days, it feels like we are bailing out a sinking ship with a teaspoon. But I know we make a difference. To those individuals and families that we help to access treatment, it means the world. Each life matters. Each life represents a family who wants every member in it to be healthy and whole. Every loss will be felt forever and we mourn them together as a community and strive to fight for prevention, intervention and recovery supports.
This is our month to recognize our losses. Please join us.
What: 7th Annual Voices of Hope Overdose Memorial Candlelight Vigil
When: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm on Monday, August 31, 2020 – International Overdose Awareness Day
Where: Elkmore Pavilion, 30 Park Lane, Elkton, MD
Details: Come and decorate a candle luminary (provided) for your loved one. Bring posters or pictures. Pastor Phil Meekins will pray for all of us and our community. We invite you to speak at the open mike, several speakers have already committed. Rob Massimiano has volunteered to donate his time and talent to play acoustic music for this event. Please bring a mask and stay socially distant for the comfort of all, especially those at risk. Bring a chair, if you would like. This is a family friendly event and there is a playground nearby. Narcan training will be provided.
Thank you – Jennifer Tuerke, Executive Director
Join us for a fun-raiser that you can participate virtually! Purchase your Rubber Ducky for $5 through the Paypal link below – watch the race live on Facebook! If you win, you can split the pot with Voices of Hope. After your purchase through Paypal, we will email you with your Duck’s number so you can cheer for your racer! The race will be recorded LIVE in Elkton on Labor Day, Monday September 7 at 12:00. Your donation supports individuals seeking substance use treatment and recovery supports and their families. Thank you!
Purchase your duck(s) here for $5.00 per duck:
A benefit yard sale was held on Saturday, June 27 at the Cecil Community Recovery Center in Elkton, MD. People from all across the region came to purchase items, tour the Recovery Center and support Voices of Hope. We want to thank everyone who participated, our volunteers, the community and those who donated to make this such a great success! We raised over $900 for individuals seeking recovery supports. Many people paid more than the items were worth just to rally the cause. More importantly, we delivered 88 doses of Narcan into our community by training individuals on how to identify an overdose and save a life. Thank you to all of you who support our mission to change Cecil and Harford Counties – by supporting one person, one family, at a time.
Voices of Hope is excited to announce that the Opioid Workforce Innovation Fund (OWIF) has awarded Voices of Hope up to $50,000 to train people in recovery, family members and allies to earn the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist credential in Maryland. This grant will build the professional workforce of people who help others overcome addiction and lower opioid overdose deaths in our state.
14 students from Cecil and Harford counties have already enrolled in this training program. Students will receive all the required education, internship hours, supervision and final exam support to receive the credential. They will also receive job application and retention skill training with job placement assistance.
“Data proves that the use of Certified Peer Recovery Specialists in service organizations improves behavioral health treatment engagement and outcomes. Individuals are making a monumental change in the way that they live by choosing recovery and Peer Recovery Specialists support them along the way.” said Voices of Hope Executive Director, Jennifer Tuerke. “Voices of Hope believes that people with experience make the best advocates for individuals and families seeking treatment. Helping others well is a skill and requires training, experience and standards. This workforce will continue to make a difference and lower overdose deaths. The award from OWIF allows us to offer a pathway to this profession for those who could otherwise not afford it.”
Voices of Hope, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit recovery community organization that is based in Cecil County, Maryland. It’s mission is to advocate for recovery resources, mentor new people in recovery and support all pathways of recovery. The Certified Peer Recovery Specialist credential is administered through the Maryland Addiction and Behavioral-health Professional Certification Board.
The Opioid Workforce Innovation Fund is Maryland’s Workforce Development response to the Opioid Epidemic. In 2017, Governor Hogan declared a state of emergency in response to the heroin, opioid, and fentanyl crisis ravaging communities in Maryland and across the country. In response to this, the department has secured funding from the United States Department of Labor to counter the negative impacts of the opioid crisis on Maryland’s workforce and economy. The OWIF is a competitive grant fund intended to seed the implementation of new
and promising ideas or to adapt proven strategies at the systems or service delivery level,
Supports local organizations in developing innovative solutions that lead to improved employment outcomes for individuals and businesses who have been directly or indirectly impacted by the opioid crisis, and
Further addresses the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use disorder with innovative workforce programs in Maryland.
If you are interested in earning the credential to start a new career as a Peer Recovery Specialist, we invite you to watch the free webinar on our website. To inquire about Certified Peer Recovery Specialist training, call (443) 993-7055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Voices of Hope, Inc. today announced that it received a $2,000 grant from the United Way of Cecil County to benefit people seeking or are in recovery / sober housing who are at risk of homelessness due to COVID-19.
The grant is part of the mission of United Way of Cecil County’s mission to help the people of Cecil County who are burdened by the financial wake of COVID-19. Through the generosity of donors throughout our community, United Way of Cecil County is providing resources and relief programs that serve families and individuals facing sudden financial
“Financial insecurity and isolation can put personal recovery at risk. The United Way grant will help some individuals to have housing security while overcoming other obstacles during the pandemic such as being laid off and restricted recovery support meetings. It may save someone from relapse and overdose death. We are grateful for community partnerships that really make a difference when people need it most.” said Jennifer Tuerke, Executive Director of Voices of Hope.
Voices of Hope, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit Recovery Community Organization whose mission is to help individuals and families struggling with substance use in Maryland.
About United Way of Cecil County
United Way of Cecil County is a purpose-driven organization committed to advancing Cecil County’s health and human services agenda by expanding resources and applying them effectively to build a better more self-sufficient community. They envision a local community
where all individuals and families can achieve their human potential, through education, income stability and health.
Is it time for a new career that reflects a greater purpose? Are you ready to take your recovery experiences into the community and help others to find their own way? Demand is high for trained Peer Recovery Specialists throughout the state and Voices of Hope is striving to meet that demand. We are offering the training, internships and support for individuals to earn the Maryland Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Credential and help the fight against addiction while lowering overdose deaths in our community.
Training and preparation for the exam can be achieved in as little as 3 months as a full time student, 6 months or longer if enrolled part time. Successful passing of an exam will be required at the end of training and internship to earn the Credential. A free webinar about the CPRS credential can be found on our website here. Certification is managed by the Maryland Addiction and Behavioral-health Professional Certification Board.
Participants will also receive training on resume building, application assistance, interview readiness and job retention skills. Peers are employed at public and private hospitals, mental health and substance use treatment providers, jails and social service providers. CPRS make up an important element of trauma informed care, improves treatment and engagement outcomes and increases the recovery capital of our whole community.
We have received funding to provide scholarships to a limited amount of people. Introductory classes will be virtual. To enroll or find out more information, email email@example.com or call (443) 993-7055 today! To receive additional information while considering your options, please attend one of our virtual Volunteer Orientations. Register on our Facebook page or our Events website page.