dailyrecord.com: Hope in a van coming to Morristown Green
William Westhoven , @WWesthoven
The Morris County Sheriff's Office Community Services Unit, partnering with other county-service departments, is hitting the road to help addicts get off the street and into recovery.
Working with Morris County Prevention is Key’s Center for Addiction Recovery, Education and Success, the Morris County Department of Human Services and the Mental Health Association of Morris County, Sheriff James M. Gannon announced the launch of Hope One, a mobile recovery access center, which will park at the Morristown Green from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.
"This is about getting those struggling with addiction off the street, and immediately connected with services, with the goal of returning them to be productive members of society and drug-free," Gannon said.
Erika Shortway, community relations coordinator for the Center for Addiction Recovery, Education and Success (better known as CARE), said the Hope One vehicle will be equipped with resources such as "meal vouchers, Narcan kits, links to services including treatment, recovery support, behavioral health and much more."
The addiction-treatment and recovery specialists staffing Hope One will include a licensed clinician and a certified peer-recovery specialist. The staff also will have pre-established services and beds available for potential clients, and will be equipped to connect clients with appropriate services and arrange for immediate transportation to treatment facilities.
"Times are changing in the world today and with many facing addiction issues, we must rise to meet the challenges," said Rockaway Police Chief Doug Scheer. "We can argue that addicts commit crimes to support their habits and, in the wake of doing so, destroy lives in the process. Rockaway borough experienced several overdose deaths in a short period of time, which rocked our small community. This was a revelation to our agency and the community as a whole. I believe that if we can change the life of an addict, then we can change the path of those they come in contact with."
"What makes this program unique is that the Hope One mobile recovery access center services are client-driven," Gannon said. "We travel to the client; they do not come to us. In addition, we are removing many of the barriers, which oftentimes prevent our people, as well as family members, the ability to get the necessary help and into rehab."
Hope One also has adopted Morris County's Stigma-Free Communities Initiative, which aims to eliminate the negative stigma associated with mental illness and substance-abuse disorders.
"This brand-new approach delivers services in a unique way, blending law-enforcement and social services to bring hope into communities," said county Director of Human Services Jennifer Carpinteri. "The goal is to enlist at-risk individuals, meeting them where they are."
"Hope One welcomes anyone affected by addiction and behavioral health to look out for the truck," Gannon said. "The folks requiring services will be brought to a treatment facility or program, and not jail. We're here for you."
For more information on CARES, call 973-625-1143 or visit facebook.com/caresnj.