Freedom House Recovery Center Receives Over $1 Million to Expand Services

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On October 4, the Freedom House Recovery Center received over $1 million in funding to increase the availability of recovery services for people with substance use disorders.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services provided nearly $4 million in grants to eight community organizations across the state.

Each organization will use the money to expand the resources and accessibility provided by Certified Peer Support Specialists.

Under North Carolina’s Certified Peer Support Specialist program, peers provide support to people on the road to recovery from substance use disorders or mental illness through their own experiences. lived.

“Honestly, we feel very honored,” said Joyce Harper, CEO and Executive Director of the Freedom House Recovery Center. “The grant will allow us to expand our peer support services so that we can provide services to people who are in different stages of recovery.”

Freedom House is one of the largest behavioral health care centers in the region that focuses on person-centered care for all ages, according to their website.

Harper said the organization offers resources for people who might be overlooked by the world because they have a mental health diagnosis or are struggling with a substance use problem.

“When you have support and someone who has been in your shoes comes by your side, helps you, coaches you, trains you and encourages you, it makes a big difference,” Harper said. “That’s what peer support does for people in recovery.

The County Department of Criminal Justice Resources works with Orange County clients with diversion and detention center diversion. They also help those who have been incarcerated or are re-entering society with substance use disorders.

Caitlin Fenhagen, Director of Criminal Justice Resources for Orange County, said that with the grant awarded to Freedom House, the organization can improve the services it provides and help stabilize patient recovery through its partnership. with the Lantern Project.

The Lantern Project works to support people with a history of substance use who are in legal trouble by getting help quickly for them. This includes helping people who have been or are about to be arrested as well as those who are or have recently been incarcerated.

“We will be able to serve an additional 150 people per year,” Fenhagen said. “Then also address some of the underlying stability issues, such as transportation and housing, that impact people’s ability to meet harm reduction education and treatment needs.”

According to Dr. Evan Ashkin, founder of NC FIT, North Carolina’s formerly incarcerated transition program works with local reintegration partners like Freedom House and the Lantern Project.

He said the grant will provide increased availability of drugs to help people with substance use disorders.

“What we’re offering through Project Lantern is an evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder that’s very effective,” Ashkin said. “We are confident that we will show reductions in overdose deaths for those enrolled in the program.”

Recipients of the $4 million grant, including seven other organizations in North Carolina, are expected to expand or improve the number of locations where certified peer support specialists are available and increase the number of people receiving services.

Dan Velez, clinical supervisor at UNC Substance Treatment and Recovery, said peer support specialists are the most underused but most valuable resource in all of formal substance recovery or treatment.

Harper said Freedom House was optimistic about sharing additional resources after years of struggling with leadership changes.

She said they want to use their experience to continue to touch people’s lives by becoming more diverse in Chapel Hill and surrounding communities.

“As we do this work and work to support our community, our community improves,” Harper said, “and like the rising tide, we all improve together.”

For more information on the grant, visit the NCDHHS website. Additional resources on substance use can be found on the House of Liberty website.

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