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Addiction recovery center offers in-person support

By Barbara Van Reed

COVID has captured the headlines and public consciousness for the last six months, making it more difficult for addiction recovery providers and support programs to break through the news cycle.

The Rev. Janice Ford, who heads up the Opening the Word Peer Recovery Center in Webster, notes that the coronavirus has been hard on everyone, but for people struggling with alcohol or opioid addiction it has been especially difficult.

Several recently published reports show that across the country, drug overdoses and deaths from drug overdoses have increased during the coronavirus pandemic, which has enforced isolation. People in recovery need community and peer support to stay sober, Pastor Ford noted.

“We are one of very few places where you can have in-person recovery meetings.”

The Opening the Word Recovery Center, which recently relocated to 174 Main Street, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for hospitality, conversation, and resources, including Narcotics Anonymous meetings and Celebrate Recovery meetings.

Evening meetings include recovery yoga, a woman-to-woman discussion group, a recovery Bible study, music in recovery, and a family support group. A Gamblers Anonymous meeting takes place Saturday mornings.

A unique aspect of the Center is the Thursday night outdoor activities program, which includes hiking, reflecting the idea that physical activity supports recovery.

Pastor Ford and Webster Chief of Police Michael Shaw teamed up several years ago to address the issue of substance abuse in a proactive way. Both were and are members of the Webster Opioid Task Force, which was formed to combat the opiate crisis in the community.

Pastor Ford served as pastor at the Church of the Reconciliation (Episcopal) in Webster for 12 years. While there she established a residential sober house for men and in August 2018 organized the Opening the Word Peer Recovery Center on Mechanic Street in Webster as a church outreach ministry. The Center’s purpose was to address substance use disorder issues faced by its residents and surrounding communities.

It soon became clear that the Mechanic Street location was too small “to do the things we wanted to do there” and it also lacked street-front visibility. 

Meanwhile, late last year Pastor Ford decided to dedicate her ministry career to full-time addiction recovery support and resigned as pastor of the church.

In November, she and Police Chief Shaw structured a new independent 501 (c ) 3 nonprofit organization to operate the recovery center, with Pastor Ford as president of the board of directors and Chief Shaw as secretary. The other directors are Christopher Daggett, Joseph Painchaude, Christopher Savasta, Elizabeth Waterhouse, and Shelley Christensen.     

They looked for a bigger and better location and found one at 174 Main Street in a building owned by the same landlord.

They signed a lease in February. The new 1500-square-foot space had been a pet store and needed lots of attention. Pastor Janice spent March, April, and May to get it ready, with cleaning, painting, and electrical work. The Center opened for in-person services on June 22.

Meanwhile, the new nonprofit began a fundraising effort. Early donors included the Fels Family Foundation; the Janet Malser Humanities Trust provided $6,000.

Fundraising will be part of life for the Board of Directors, as the Center is private, and not funded by the state, as are most other recovery centers.

“We’ve been doing great,” says Pastor Ford, “thank God. It’s the people of the town who are making this a reality.”

The Center is not just for Webster. Residents and families from surrounding towns are invited and welcome.

 Pastor Ford’s work with people struggling with addiction is not limited to Webster. She also serves as chaplain of the Worcester County Jail & House of Correction’s Substance Abuse Treatment Opportunity Program in West Boylston.

“This is the best work I’ve ever done. It’s the most challenging and satisfying, and I hope the most helpful.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Addiction recovery center offers in-person support

 

By Barbara Van Reed

 

COVID has captured the headlines and public consciousness for the last six months, making it more difficult for addiction recovery providers and support programs to break through the news cycle.

The Rev. Janice Ford, who heads up the Opening the Word Peer Recovery Center in Webster, notes that the coronavirus has been hard on everyone, but for people struggling with alcohol or opioid addiction it has been especially difficult.

Several recently published reports show that across the country, drug overdoses and deaths from drug overdoses have increased during the coronavirus pandemic, which has enforced isolation. People in recovery need community and peer support to stay sober, Pastor Ford noted.

“We are one of very few places where you can have in-person recovery meetings.”

The Opening the Word Recovery Center, which recently relocated to 174 Main Street, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for hospitality, conversation, and resources, including Narcotics Anonymous meetings and Celebrate Recovery meetings.

Evening meetings include recovery yoga, a woman-to-woman discussion group, a recovery Bible study, music in recovery, and a family support group. A Gamblers Anonymous meeting takes place Saturday mornings.

A unique aspect of the Center is the Thursday night outdoor activities program, which includes hiking, reflecting the idea that physical activity supports recovery.

Pastor Ford and Webster Chief of Police Michael Shaw teamed up several years ago to address the issue of substance abuse in a proactive way. Both were and are members of the Webster Opioid Task Force, which was formed to combat the opiate crisis in the community.

Pastor Ford served as pastor at the Church of the Reconciliation (Episcopal) in Webster for 12 years. While there she established a residential sober house for men and in August 2018 organized the Opening the Word Peer Recovery Center on Mechanic Street in Webster as a church outreach ministry. The Center’s purpose was to address substance use disorder issues faced by its residents and surrounding communities.

It soon became clear that the Mechanic Street location was too small “to do the things we wanted to do there” and it also lacked street-front visibility. 

Meanwhile, late last year Pastor Ford decided to dedicate her ministry career to full-time addiction recovery support and resigned as pastor of the church.

In November, she and Police Chief Shaw structured a new independent 501 (c ) 3 nonprofit organization to operate the recovery center, with Pastor Ford as president of the board of directors and Chief Shaw as secretary. The other directors are Christopher Daggett, Joseph Painchaude, Christopher Savasta, Elizabeth Waterhouse, and Shelley Christensen.     

 

They looked for a bigger and better location and found one at 174 Main Street in a building owned by the same landlord.

They signed a lease in February. The new 1500-square-foot space had been a pet store and needed lots of attention. Pastor Janice spent March, April, and May to get it ready, with cleaning, painting, and electrical work. The Center opened for in-person services on June 22.

 

Meanwhile, the new nonprofit began a fundraising effort. Early donors included the Fels Family Foundation; the Janet Malser Humanities Trust provided $6,000.

 

Fundraising will be part of life for the Board of Directors, as the Center is private, and not funded by the state, as are most other recovery centers.

“We’ve been doing great,” says Pastor Ford, “thank God. It’s the people of the town who are making this a reality.”

The Center is not just for Webster. Residents and families from surrounding towns are invited and welcome.

 Pastor Ford’s work with people struggling with addiction is not limited to Webster. She also serves as chaplain of the Worcester County Jail & House of Correction’s Substance Abuse Treatment Opportunity Program in West Boylston.

“This is the best work I’ve ever done. It’s the most challenging and satisfying, and I hope the most helpful.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Addiction recovery center offers in-person support

 

By Barbara Van Reed

 

COVID has captured the headlines and public consciousness for the last six months, making it more difficult for addiction recovery providers and support programs to break through the news cycle.

The Rev. Janice Ford, who heads up the Opening the Word Peer Recovery Center in Webster, notes that the coronavirus has been hard on everyone, but for people struggling with alcohol or opioid addiction it has been especially difficult.

Several recently published reports show that across the country, drug overdoses and deaths from drug overdoses have increased during the coronavirus pandemic, which has enforced isolation. People in recovery need community and peer support to stay sober, Pastor Ford noted.

“We are one of very few places where you can have in-person recovery meetings.”

The Opening the Word Recovery Center, which recently relocated to 174 Main Street, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for hospitality, conversation, and resources, including Narcotics Anonymous meetings and Celebrate Recovery meetings.

Evening meetings include recovery yoga, a woman-to-woman discussion group, a recovery Bible study, music in recovery, and a family support group. A Gamblers Anonymous meeting takes place Saturday mornings.

A unique aspect of the Center is the Thursday night outdoor activities program, which includes hiking, reflecting the idea that physical activity supports recovery.

Pastor Ford and Webster Chief of Police Michael Shaw teamed up several years ago to address the issue of substance abuse in a proactive way. Both were and are members of the Webster Opioid Task Force, which was formed to combat the opiate crisis in the community.

Pastor Ford served as pastor at the Church of the Reconciliation (Episcopal) in Webster for 12 years. While there she established a residential sober house for men and in August 2018 organized the Opening the Word Peer Recovery Center on Mechanic Street in Webster as a church outreach ministry. The Center’s purpose was to address substance use disorder issues faced by its residents and surrounding communities.

It soon became clear that the Mechanic Street location was too small “to do the things we wanted to do there” and it also lacked street-front visibility. 

Meanwhile, late last year Pastor Ford decided to dedicate her ministry career to full-time addiction recovery support and resigned as pastor of the church.

In November, she and Police Chief Shaw structured a new independent 501 (c ) 3 nonprofit organization to operate the recovery center, with Pastor Ford as president of the board of directors and Chief Shaw as secretary. The other directors are Christopher Daggett, Joseph Painchaude, Christopher Savasta, Elizabeth Waterhouse, and Shelley Christensen.     

 

They looked for a bigger and better location and found one at 174 Main Street in a building owned by the same landlord.

They signed a lease in February. The new 1500-square-foot space had been a pet store and needed lots of attention. Pastor Janice spent March, April, and May to get it ready, with cleaning, painting, and electrical work. The Center opened for in-person services on June 22.

 

Meanwhile, the new nonprofit began a fundraising effort. Early donors included the Fels Family Foundation; the Janet Malser Humanities Trust provided $6,000.

 

Fundraising will be part of life for the Board of Directors, as the Center is private, and not funded by the state, as are most other recovery centers.

“We’ve been doing great,” says Pastor Ford, “thank God. It’s the people of the town who are making this a reality.”

The Center is not just for Webster. Residents and families from surrounding towns are invited and welcome.

 Pastor Ford’s work with people struggling with addiction is not limited to Webster. She also serves as chaplain of the Worcester County Jail & House of Correction’s Substance Abuse Treatment Opportunity Program in West Boylston.

“This is the best work I’ve ever done. It’s the most challenging and satisfying, and I hope the most helpful.”