Labor Day Virtual Rubber Ducky Race!

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:

Recovery Yard Sale: a Huge success!

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.

Our staff and volunteers and our families – taking off our masks to smile for the camera!

Voices of Hope Harford County Reaches Out

People in recovery who live in Harford County have stepped up and are reaching out to end overdose deaths in their community. They are engaging with people who use drugs, family members and those who are at risk of overdose through the backpack outreach model. These individuals have been trained through Voices of Hope and the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition. The team made their first walk this weekend – going through neighborhoods that have the most overdoses, training people on how to identify those most at risk for overdose, the signs of an overdose and how to administer Narcan.

Voices of Hope has used backpack outreach in Cecil County since 2018. In May, 470 doses of Narcan were distributed in the areas where overdoses occur the most in Cecil County. Even during COVID, Voices of Hope actively reaches out to those who use drugs and their families, offering connections to treatment, health care and support.

If you would like to participate in outreach in Harford or Cecil County, become a volunteer or be trained to be a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist in Maryland, email voicesofhope414@gmail.com or call (443) 993-7055 today!

OWIF Awards VoH to Train Peer Recovery Specialists

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,
ƒ 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
ƒ 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 voicesofhope414@gmail.com today!

Cecil County Miss Overdose Prevention

Cecil County is a 418 square miles of small rural towns that have share the big city problems of untreated addiction and mental health disorders. For the past few years, this county and 103,000 people has outpaced all other Maryland counties with the rate of overdose deaths per 100,000 people, following only Baltimore City. This county is proud of being the head of the Chesapeake Bay, it’s steeplechase horse racing in Fair Hill and generations of farming families. Picturesque towns like North East and Chesapeake City attract tourists that enjoy the country life and fresh water recreation. Cecil communities rally around their first responders and law enforcement officers and raise funds for cancer and other causes. Few groups or agencies stand up for recovery, despite the evidence that most families have been affected by the opioid epidemic. Now a High School Senior, Mikayla has been Miss Fire Prevention in her small Cecil town for the past 2 years. Her mother and brother worked for the fire company that their family have lived in for decades. Theirs is a family of pride and service for the local community. However, like most, their family and friends have been negatively affected by addiction, losing loved ones to overdose. Mikayla felt more could be done in the community to address this issue, with adults and with youth, especially because it was affecting almost everyone she knew. In 2019, Mikayla accepted the opportunity to educate the community about the risks and the help that is available as Voices of Hope’s Miss Overdose Prevention. To do this, she set down her crown as Miss Fire Prevention. She now serves as an ambassador of recovery at local events that families and youth attend.

Miss Overdose Prevention helping to make luminaries for Voices of Hope’s Annual Overdose Death Candlelight Vigil

Her message is that overdose can happen to anyone and Narcan should be a part of every home’s First Aid Kit. When she dons her crown and sash, she normalizes the experience that many children are having: they are worried about their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles that are struggling with addiction or have already died from overdose. Mikayla knows that the language and message has to be appropriate for children and the general public. Fire prevention and overdose prevention can be equally horrific when stories of pain and death are used as motivating learning experiences. Mikayla has found that keeping the focus on how to identify an overdose and how to reverse the effect has been received as well as can be hoped.

Voices of Hope, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit that is operated by people in recovery whose mission is to advocate for recovery resources and protect the dignity of families who struggle with addiction. Jennifer Tuerke, Executive Director of Voices of Hope, explains. “We often have minors come to Voices of Hope staff and volunteers asking for Narcan and training because they are worried about their parents. How can we turn them away just because of their age? We empower these kids to know they have the tools if the worst should happen, allowing some of them to sleep at night.” She added, “Miss Overdose Prevention normalizes the experience many of our children and families are having. I truly believe that family members will take the Narcan home and save the life of someone they love.” This initiative, along with Maryland Certified Peer Recovery Specialist training and credentialing support for youth, is part of Voices of Hope efforts to reach young people and prevent overdose deaths.

Mikayla is aware that, as Miss Overdose Prevention, the stigma of addiction has been heaped upon her like so many others. Despite her age, posts with her picture have been shared in local groups with disparaging comments and ridicule. She holds her head high, believing that saving a life will be worth it. Mikayla is proud of the members of her family and friends who have found recovery. She cares about her friends that are losing themselves in addiction, following the footsteps of their family members. Mikayla is currently on the pathway to become a Maryland Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, entering the health care profession and helping others to find recovery for themselves.

To schedule an appearance of Miss Overdose Prevention at your family-friendly event, email voicesofhope414@gmail.com of call (443)993-7055.

VoH Announces Gift from United Way

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
challenges.

“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.

Maryland Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Training

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 voicesofhope414@gmail.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.

Voices of Hope Recovery Resources in the Pandemic

VoH wants to provide the latest information to those seeking assistance, treatment and recovery resources in Cecil County.

For access to treatment, recovery supports and harm reduction (syringe services), please call Voices of Hope at (443)993-7055 and a Peer Recovery Specialist will be available to serve you.

Treatment: there are inpatient and outpatient treatment providers in the area still accepting patients that have private insurance and Medicaid. Please do not hesitate to start the process of receiving treatment for addiction during this pandemic. Call us at (443) 993-7055 for treatment options and personalized support. The disease of addiction does not observe social distance nor quarantine. If you or a loved one is currently using drugs and not yet ready for treatment, please keep Narcan on hand to reverse an opioid overdose.

Narcan: To receive Narcan delivered free to your home, fill out a form at http://naloxoneforall.org/maryland. If you are uncomfortable with having it delivered to you through the mail, please reach out to Voices of Hope at (443) 993-7055 for creative delivery using social distancing.

Housing: The Mary Randall Rotating Shelter is over for the season. The Department of Social Services is still the first stop for emergency housing options. Their phone number is (410) 996-0100. The Paris Foundation (484) 459-1299 and the Mary Randall Center (410) 620-4701 are local food and service providers for those who are food insecure or without a home and need showers and supports. For access to recovery housing contact Voices of Hope at (443) 993-7055 to talk over options and to receive assistance.

Recovery Support Groups: the Voices of Hope Recovery Community Center is currently closed due to Governor Hogan’s order that 10 or more people should not gather to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Most of the meetings held at our Center have moved to an online format, click the green for the link:

For Narcotics Anonymous online meetings, go to the Susquehanna Area of Narcotics Anonymous. Voices of Hope is not affiliated with this fellowship.

Voices of Hope OPEN COMMUNITY MEETING every Wednesday night at 6:00 pm – this is a regular opportunity for the community to give input, suggestions, air concerns or get involved!

For Healing Hearts Overdose Death Grief Support Group meeting held every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm.

For All Paths Recovery Meeting on Tuesdays at 5:00 and Thursdays at 1:00

For online SMART support group on every Friday at 7:00 pm.

More information will be posted here as it is updated. Thank you and stay well.

COVID-19, Voices of Hope and Overdose Prevention

Our Staff has worked tirelessly in preparation for COVID-19.  After much discussion between our staff and Peers it has been decided that, at this time, our mission will continue.  Unfortunately the disease of addiction does not practice social distancing.  Regardless of this pandemic the people we serve need us.  Our community is still ravaged and people are still dying.  

Presently, all recommendations from the CDC and our local Health Department have been implemented.  We have been speaking with the Maryland Department of Health and our local Health Department representatives almost daily.  At our Main Office and the Recovery Community Center you will find the door locked and a notice on the door outlining how to contact our Peers. Any person needing face to face contact will be triaged outside for symptoms and possible exposure before they enter our buildings.  All community meetings at the Recovery Community Center have been cancelled until further notice.  Online meetings are being set up to keep people connected. Please see our calendar or Facebook page for current links.

Our Hope Street Teams will continue their work in the community while practicing social distancing and proper hygiene.  At this time, we have suspended our homeless outreach at the Mary Randall Center, the Paris Foundation and Nicanor.  Information has been given to them about our Peer hotline.  Peers are answering the phones 24/7 to provide recovery support and treatment connections during this time.  Narcan will still be available through creative delivery.  Please share with your networks that Voices of Hope is operational and to call (443) 993-7055 for services.

All staff and volunteers have been advised to stay home if they feel ill or have come in contact with someone who is sick and could possibly have the virus.  Also, if they have an at risk family members to be proactive and stay home as well. 

This is a fluid situation and our staff is staying up to date with all recommendations of the CDC.  We will update as things change.

Stay safe and love one another. 

Karli Secor, Board President

For the Love of Community Recovery Gratitude Banquet Feb. 2020

Over 175 people attended the Voices of Hope Recovery Gratitude Banquet on February 15, 2020 at Rosewood Farms in Elkton, Maryland. The venue was a beautiful setting for a celebration of recovery and community leaders who make a difference in the battle against addiction in Cecil County.

Opening remarks were given by Robin Rickard, Deputy Director of the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center. She stated Governor Hogan supports community organizations like Voices of Hope that form as a response and help to address opioid related deaths.

Elkton Police Officer Jokob Brown credited his parents for raising him with the direction and support to treat all individuals with respect and dignity. His humble speech moved the crowd to give a standing ovation.

Richard Raftery, Peer Advocate at the Cecil County Health Department, attributed his drive and tireless service to his relationship with Jesus Christ.

Linda Williams, Executive Director of Addiction Connections Resource, shared her journey of helping individuals and families access treatment in her community to leading this nonprofit that has made a large impact in Harford and Cecil Counties and throughout Maryland.

Chris Pederson, Vice President of Evolve Life Centers, shared his experience, strength and hope that treatment and recovery will someday be readily accessible to anyone seeking help for addiction, anywhere.

Dr. Niaz was awarded the Cecil County Medical Provider of the Year award for his outstanding service to individuals seeking emergency medical care in Cecil County.

Bob Gauss was surprised to be given the Voices of Hope Volunteer of the Year Award for his selfless service and transportation assistance given to many individuals seeking access to treatment.

This fundraiser by Voices of Hope, Inc. raised almost $8,000 for individuals seeking treatment and recovery supports in Cecil County. THANK YOU to all our sponsors, supporters and those who donated and purchased from the silent auction. Your generosity, compassion and action makes a difference in our community.

Platinum Sponsors:

Recovery Centers of America – Bracebridge Hall
Cecil County Office of the State’s Attorney

To access all the awesome photographs taken that evening by David Heitur Photography, please click this link.

Voices of Hope

Recovery Support in Maryland