HEMLOCK — Recovery is Possible had its kickoff event at the Hemlock United Methodist Church with several organizations.

On Dec. 5 the CASA Trinity, Gates to Recovery, Livingston County Sheriff’s Department, Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode, Team Challenge,  and Hemlock United Methodist Church Pastor Matt Finch all came together to help addicts and the families of addicts.

CASA Trinity has a mobile treatment center they can bring to the clients if they are unable to come to the center. The Dansville CASA center on Maple Street is now open for outpatient care, and residential care will be available in February.

Recovery is Possible will be available for anyone in need the first Wednesday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hemlock United Methodist Church. The church is located at 4620 Main Street in Hemlock.

Sheena Natrigo-Perdue and Brent Dickerson, CASA Trinity peer counselors, showed a powerpoint on Narcan Training.

Recovery is Possible Program was spearheaded by CASA Trinity Prevention Supervisor Dawn Landon and Pastor Matt Finch.  

“The whole idea of this program is to reach out to folks in the community that need these services,” Landon said. “Pastor Matt was inspired by the Gates to Recovery Program to bring this program here. It makes access to recovery easier.”

Landon said that this program will help families that are suffering alongside the loved one with addiction.

“Family and friends are struggling right along the side of the one in need or recovery,” she said. “They need support groups as well, and they need to understand to take care of themselves. Many of them are overlooked or forgotten as they try to get their loved one help.”  

Landon will be working in residential treatment as this was the main reason she wanted to be part of the program.

“I want to help people get back on track,” she said. “I want to get them into the world again. It has always been my dream to work in residential care.”

Finch said that he was one of the addicts who struggled for many years until Team Challenge helped him turn his life around.

“I was a drug addict for many years, and my drug of choice was cocaine. I went to Team Challenge and they changed my life,” he said. “It took me five years to get what I needed. Now I am blessed with a church and family of my own. I look for any opportunity to serve the community. I have an amazing team and I owe it all to Jesus.”

Finch talked about how the life you save is someone’s son, daughter, parent, friend, and loved one.

CASA Trinity CEO Ann Domingos mentioned how this will enhance the treatment of addiction in the county.

“It is really nice to partner with Pastor Matt on this program,” she said. “I like that Pastor Matt has the desire to help us, and his vision is to save as many as he can. We have a lot of peer counselors who will help with whatever is needed.”

Gates to Recovery helped to influence the program with the success they have had in several locations. Chief VanBrederode and David Attridge spearheaded that program 15 months ago in Gates.

“WE are all on the same page when it comes to helping others,” VanBrederode said. “You don’t have to be afraid of the law enforcement. We want to see you get the treatment you need. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to call for help. We don’t want you to end up dead. I am proud of Pastor Matt for his compassion in the church.”

Attridge said that Gates to Recovery had been started since there was such a strong need in Monroe County.

“We talked about forming this program after seeing such a strong need in our community,” he said. “We now have this program at five different locations, and we want to get it out to as many as possible. There is one in Brockport, Webster, Penfield, Gates, and East Rochester. I love that we are partnering with Pastor Matt in Hemlock as well.”

VanBrederode had the idea to make the Memorial Van for those who lost their lives to addiction a few months ago. There had been a statistic that was buried in a press release about 220 lives lost to addiction.

“We didn’t want those 220 lives to be forgotten or just a statistic in a press release,” he said. “This was someone’s daughter or son. We wanted to tell their story. We had a graphic designer make the logo and put the faces of the addicts on the van.  Every single face tells a story, and we are hoping that we will be able to save lives with their stories.”

Right now there are 65 faces on the van, and there is room for more if families want to honor their loved ones.

Livingston County Deputy Brian Applin talked about the importance of programs like this that save many lives. Applin mentioned that Narcan has saved thousands of lives.

“We work very well with the schools and with CASA. Anytime we have an ambulance call we contact someone from CASA to help out,” he said. “We have someone from CASA come out with one of our deputies to help these people get the services they need. There are many things we are trying to do to help the problem.”

Applin said the primary goal in law enforcement is the goal of life.

“Anytime we can help support a program that helps with the priority of life we are on board,” he said. “We appreciate the opportunity to be part of this new program. The law enforcement is not the enemy. We are here to try and help.”

Tatiana Zentz, CASA Trinity chief program officer, said she is very optimistic about this program.

“Pastor Matt has been really great with us. We are looking into the needs of the community, and helping people who struggle with addiction,” she said. “We are making this a one stop shop for all their needs. There are some great services out there for them and their families.”

Zentz said that the opioid epidemic has made things so much worse in recent years, and that there is a big push to get these programs onboard.

Chris Harrison, Finch’s friend, said he is trying to bring Team Challenge back to this area.

“I owe everything to God. I had been so hopeless and depressed that I didn’t want to live anymore. Being part of Team Challenge saved my life,” he said. “It gave me a reason and purpose to keep going and help others.”

If you are interested in reaching out you can call Recovery is Possible at 607-378-7479 or 585-694-0396. You can reach Gates to Recovery at 585-310-4080 or visit the site at www.recoverynowny.com You can reach CASA Trinity at 585-991-5012 or 585-335-5052 or visit at www.casa-trinity.org