Notes from Social Justice Forum, August 25

A very informative exchange transpired between our guests and members of UUFE, comprising congregants and members of the Social Justice Committee, and our Guests: Mid-Shore Fresh Start. Tori Brummel and Bert Larrimore

Tori Brummel, Director msfreshstart@gmail.com  443-496-1379 (cell)

Bert Larrimore, Board Member

Website:  midshorefreshstart.org

Fresh Start needs identified:

  • Daytime clerical secretarial services;
  • Driver for the new van that has been donated (regular driver’s license required)
  • Money for remodeling “face-lift” improvements to existing Dover Road facility;
  • Trained male volunteer counselors to assistant Tori with the all-male clientele;
  • Assistance with fund raising and grant writing.

What we learned about the Fresh Start program from our guests:

  • Expenses average $6000/month ($3500 for rent plus utilities and insurance)
  • Residents pay in an average of $5400/month from income leaving about a $600/month short-fall
  • 12 Male residents occupy 3 apartment units, cooking and eating together;
  • Age range is 18 to 50’s;
  • All residents are required to pass randomly administered urinalysis tests to remain in the program;
  • All residents are required to attend meetings focusing on addiction recovery and re-entry into the work force, available in the community and at the Fresh Start facility.
  • Maximum stay is 12 months.
  • Success rate has steadily improved over the years since Fresh Start opened.
  • Fresh Start was the first local recovery house. Others have since opened in the town.

GOAL:   Establish a ¾ house for self-monitoring sobriety for those eligible following their 1 year at Fresh Start.

MAJOR CHALLENGE:  Finding affordable housing in the Talbot Co. area. Habitat for Humanity was recommended as a potential resource.

Mid-Shore Family Mediation was suggested by Ray Earnest as a potential resource for helping clients reconnect with their families. She offered to make introductions for Tori.

UUFE Community Workshop was suggested by David Stevens to address the need for information on addiction resources available in our area, along with preventative measures.

Present:

*David Stevens

*Maggie Garey

*Ken Court

*Broughton Earnest

*Ray Earnest

Jean Rhian

Mary Young

*Jack Harrald

Steve Parks

[ * UUFE SJC ]

Recording clerk;  Maggie Garey

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