Our Friends at Groundcover recently put together this lovely map of warming centers that will be available this winter. If you or someone you know is experiancing a housing crisis and needs a place to stay warm durring the day please share this map with them.
We are excited to see this new option for our community members. If you know anyone who might benefit from additional support and heath screenings pass this information on:
Washtenaw County Public Health is pleased to announce that it has launched Wise Choices. Wise Choices provides free health screenings and support to help income-eligible men and women, insured or uninsured, make small, healthy changes in their lives.
“This is a great opportunity to support individuals in the community as they make a conscious choice to be healthier and set realistic goals,” says Program Administrator Ruth Kraut. “The Wise Choices program was also implemented at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, where they have seen overwhelmingly positive results among their participants. We are all excited to start the program in Washtenaw County.”
The Wise Choices program consists of a brief health intake screening, goal-setting and planning, and consistent follow-up with a community navigator.
Studies have shown that setting small, specific, short-term goals increases the likelihood of success, as opposed to setting big, broad, long-term goals. Participants in Wise Choices decide which behavior they want to focus on to improve their health. These behaviors could be anything from eating more fruits and vegetables, to going on a 15 minute walk three days per week, to being more diligent about taking their blood pressure medication. Motivational interviewing techniques are then used to increase participants’ commitment and motivation to making a healthy behavior change.
The community navigator serves as a liaison between Washtenaw County Public Health, Wise Choices participants, and community resources. Community navigators may provide participants with referrals to community-based lifestyle programs, including a weight loss program called Taking off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) or the Diabetes Prevention Program.
Getting a handle on finances is often very difficult. Washtenaw county is has a high cost of living, limited low-income housing, a high percentage of residents with substantial student loans, and an increacing population of those with fixed incomes. Hunger security in our community will only happen when no one has to choose between food and other expenses.
If you would like some tools to get a foothold on finances please check out these classes being offered this month by MSU Extension. You can learn more about the MI Money program and find future classes by visiting their webpage here.
Classes this month:
Homebuyer Education - Online Series - Oct 3, 2017 – Oct 10, 2017
Money Management: Mason County - Oct 5, 2017 – Oct 26, 2017 | West Shore Community College
Repayment Options for Student Loans Webinar - Oct 9, 2017
Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate? - Passing on Personal Possessions - Oct 10, 2017 | Webinar
Money Management Series – Kent - Oct 13, 2017 – Oct 20, 2017 | Kent County MI Works! (DHHS Building), 121 Franklin St, SE Ste. 120, GR, MI 49507
Your Money Your Goals - Oct 30, 2017 – Oct 30, 2017 | H & C Burnside Center, 65 Grahl Drive, Coldwater, MI 49036, 1 - 4 p.m.
Retirement Planning - Online Series - Nov 1, 2017 – Nov 29, 2017
Connecting the Dots:
Addiction is complicated, but learning about it can help us address it. Jim Balmer, co-founder and president of Dawn Farm, will be sharing about basic understanding of the process and diagnosis of addiction, how the brain functions in a person with alcohol/other drug addiction, and methods utilized to help people with alcohol/other drug use disorders achieve sustained recovery. Wednesday October 11 @ 7pm
Food 4 Thought:
Join us in a conversation about what it looks like to support the recovery community in our own community. Learn more about the challenges that we face and the opportunities we have to make a difference today. Saturday October 21 @ 11am
Postcard Night: Recovery is good policy
Ensuring people have access to the resources they need to get into recovery and stay in recovery is key to having a healthy community. It just makes sense. One of the key barriers to a robust recovery community is the stigma that comes with addiction. Leadership in reducing stigma needs to come from the top. We are joining with "Faces & Voices of Recovery" in their efforts urging our national institutions to remove the word "abuse" from their names. Learn more about this campaign here and join us for our letter writting night. Wednesday, October 25 at 7 PM - 10 PM
Documentary Night: Generation Found @ EMU
Join us at Eastern Michigan University for a special documentary screening. We will be watching "Generation Found." It documents how Houston has come together to create healthy systems to promote sobriety and recovery among the young people in the community. View the trailer below! We will be meeting on October 26th in the Porter Building. Meet in Room 215 at 7pm!
Field Trip: Dawn Farm
Join us as we take a trip together to Dawn Farm. Since 1973 Dawn Farm has been helping bring community members out of the cycle of addiction and into the recovery community. See how they use their amazing space to help build bridges of hope. Saturday October 28th @ 11am
Other great cause-related events at Cultivate:
Garden All Year Meet-ups - October 9;
Kids in the Garden - Compost Workshop
Apple Crunch Day - A Michigan-wide event on October 25th - We will be selling apples to support donating Apples at Hope Clinic!
As always, you can stay up-to-date by --checking this link--
Did you know:
- The number of weekly opioid related overdoses for Washtenaw County residents has more than doubled since 2015.
- The median age for overdose patients in the county is 35.
- Of the 329 Total Deaths in our county since 2011, the Ypsilanti area has suffered the worst losses.
One of the major barriers to achieving food security in our community is the epidemic of addiction. In recent years the use of some particularly harmful drugs has increased at alarming rates. Any serious look at ending hunger in Washtenaw County has to take considerable steps to make our community as a whole a healthy place for those individuals in recovery. The relationship between addiction and food insecurity is real. Many times people who struggle with a substance addiction choose their addiction over food. Addictions can destabilize a person’s life. Additionally, being food insecure can contribute to triggering a relapse.
It is critical for guardrails to be created to prevent people from falling into addictions. There have been great efforts in our community to strengthen the recovery community, but there are also tremendous needs. The path to recovery is different for every person. The most important resources are hope, love and care. They require a whole community that can pave the way and walk along the journey. When a community member begins the process of recovery, they are similar to a plant that has been taken from toxic soil and replanted. If there is any hope of the plant thriving, it needs to be planted in rich, healthy soil. For someone in recovery, this means having a community that is willing to support them in tangible ways: employment, affordable housing, accessible transportation, counsel/recovery meetings, and a network of people who care about them. A community that is seeking to support the recovery community seeks to identify the potential threats, addresses them, sees opportunities and fervently pursues them.
There are a remarkable number of resources and organizations involved in the recovery community in Washtenaw county. We have listed a full resource list on our webpage. A great place to get started is with Dawn Farm. Not only does Dawn Farm offer a fairly comprehensive list of programs to help people into and stay in recovery, they also provide great educational resources to help community members understand addiction and how they can help. Similarly, for those interested in getting involved, Community Mental Health offers recovery coach training for people who want additional training.
As we have talked to partners and allies in the community the following needs have emerged repeatedly as urgent needs:
Transitional housing in Ypsilanti. Although there is a concentrated effort throughout Washtenaw county to provide housing for the recovery community, there are largly limited to Ann Arbor. Ypsilanti (and other surrounding areas) tends to be associated with one’s addiction, while Ann Arbor is associated with recovery. We join in the long-term work of providing housing outside of Ann Arbor.
Debunking the stigma attached to recovery. Although there has been progress in regards to accepting and understanding the recovery community, there remains a strong stigma attached to recovery. Needing recovery is too often seen as a moral failure and individuals are shamed for having a “problem” they cannot handle on their own. We support work for a deeper understanding of addiction, as well as a willingness to recognize one’s own vulnerabilities.
Bus tokens! This is a very tangible way to help. As part of the recovery process, individuals are encouraged not to have a car for at least one year after their initial start of treatment. This means that they have to rely on public transportation. There can be a lot of anxiety, as well as financial burden, that can incur during this time. Donating bus tokens is an easy but very effective way to communicate to our friends in recovery that we see them and want to support them in short-term and long-term ways.
As we support a person in recovery, we must always rely on a vision of hope. We must see with these eyes the person they can become and work to clear the best path toward that goal. We must always promote steps that will both reduce the harm in their current situation and also move them a step forward towards the hopeful vision of a flourishing life.
Learn More about Addiction by participating in our OCTOBER EVENTS on supporting the recovery community.
If you need help getting into recovery or need additional supports please check out our RESOURCE PAGE.