Posted Jul. 18, 2016 at 7:34 PM
DURHAM — The SOS Recovery Community Organization has begun the process to establish a recovery center in Durham, to help those who are battling substance abuse issues.
On Saturday, SOS Recovery will host a dialogue session with Durham’s recovery community on what services are needed in the area, what programs would be useful for the center to have, and how people can get involved in volunteering.
The session, which is open to the public, will take place 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. George’s Episcopal Church, located at 1 Park Court in Durham.
This will be SOS Recovery’s first public information session for the planned Durham center. At this time, the organization is particularly looking to hear from community members involved in recovery — family members of those struggling with addictions, recovery coaches, mental health workers, and those working to overcome substance abuse disorder.
St. George’s Episcopal Church has been picked as the location for Durham’s recovery center. The space is available for use immediately, but before opening, SOS Recovery needs to hear from the community on what the needs are in the local area, said Dean LeMire, manager of programs for SOS Recovery.
LeMire said the organization is not looking to duplicate services offered elsewhere in the local area, such as AA or the Triangle Club in Dover. Rather, the center will aim compliment existing services. He said the goal is to tailor the center’s programs to the unique needs of the local community.
“It’s very much a bottom-up approach,” said LeMire.
The center will be run mainly by volunteer recovery coaches that are trained through SOS Recovery. The coaches will be available to give non-clinical support to those seeking to overcome addictions in a peer-to-peer based approach, said LeMire.
The organization has already trained about 55 recovery coaches in the local area over the past few of months, and some of these coaches have already began volunteering throughout the area, such as at Safe Harbor Recovery Center in Portsmouth and as part of the Farmington Responds initiative in Farmington, said LeMire.
The goal of a recovery coach is to offer hope and support, and to help remove barriers to recovery. The SOS centers are supportive of people in all stages and of all methods of recovery.
In addition to individual peer-to-peer support, the center will have a schedule of programs throughout the week. Dialogues through future public sessions will help determine what programs to offer at each center, said LeMire.
SOS Recovery is also looking to establish recovery centers in other local communities, including Rochester and Durham. About a month ago, the steering committee for SOS Recovery voted to open the Durham center first.
Eventually, those involved in SOS Recovery hope to establish a county-wide network of recovery centers. The centers will largely be located on main streets and in downtown areas, to ensure the centers are easily accessible. LeMire said the more recovery services are available, the better.
SOS Recovery’s fiscal agent is Goodwin Community Health.