As 2019 is nearly upon us, we are looking forward to further expanding and developing this work.
38 trainings. 27 states. Nearly 1,300 people in recovery, affected families, prevention professionals, treatment providers, public health advocates, law enforcement officers and more. These are the numbers associated with our Communities Project work, launched in a pilot format in 2017, and expanded to include new locations in 2018. While I’m proud of these figures, they do not really summarize what the Communities Project is all about.
It’s about people. It’s about people coming from so many different backgrounds, both personally and professionally, to unite as one collective unit in their community in order to combat addiction. That unity – the common sense of purpose shared by each and every person touched in some way by this public health crisis – is the single biggest point of pride that I feel every day when it comes to the Communities Project.
I’ve just returned from Pittsburgh, where we hosted our 23rd and final training of 2018. As I’ve experienced over the past several months in places like Dallas, Texas, Fairbanks, Alaska and across New York state, I was greeted by a passionate group of developing leaders ready to tackle Community Organizing, develop goals based on the needs of their community and most importantly, commit to moving forward with the community plans we develop as part of this project.
This collaborative process has led to communities taking on tremendous goals. As I write, organizers are working in Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin and more to build recovery community centers, develop Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Programs, pass sober housing standards, open new treatment facilities, and so much more. These are all goals we empower communities to set for themselves, using the framework we provide in our training. As those who have gone through our Community Organizing training have heard me say so many times, it’s not the role of Facing Addiction with NCADD, or any other national organization, to march into community and tell it what to do. We strive rather to provide a framework to help communities make those decision for themselves. Most importantly, we work to have them develop these goals in a collaborative fashion. That means recovery, families, prevention, treatment, public health, law enforcement and more coming together to ONE table to develop ONE goal they can work on as a team.
To watch the process, play out has and will continue to be inspiring, to say the least.
As 2019 is nearly upon us, we are looking forward to further expanding and developing this work. More trainings will be developed. I’ll have the tremendous pleasure to meet more and more individuals who not only have the passion, but more importantly are ready to commit to fighting for the change they seek. And by unifying, developing collective goals and committing to the work, communities across the country can truly begin Facing Addiction together.
If you are interested bring a Communities Project training to your community in 2019, please visit https://www.facingaddiction.org/take-action/communities-project and fill out the form below.