by Teri Rafferty
I have been volunteering with Into the Neighborhood in the Richmond City Justice Center for 4+ years now but as of last week, we were not able to continue going on visits as we were.
Instead, we have given our volunteers the information they need to write and to email our friends.
Some of us work with drug courts and HARP (Helping Addicts Recover Program) and have continued relationships with our friends on the outside. Into the Neighborhood has organized an adoption process of 16 recovery houses and 3 family units we have been working with. So far, all but 2 have been adopted.
- Meeting practical needs like groceries, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, toilet paper. (A house of 16 women can really roll through some paper!!)
- Cook a meal and drop it off.
- Meet spiritual needs like hosting a zoom bible study with the ones who want to participate. We can supply technology!
- Encourage and support folks in time of stress.
I am grateful to be able to continue reaching out during this unprecedented time. It’s inspiring to see people step up and help their neighborhoods. I hope it continues past this crisis.
We still have 2 houses that need to be adopted. Leave a comment if you are in Richmond, VA and can help.
by Anne Moss Rogers
Caritas is the umbrella organization that houses The Healing Place, one of the best models of addiction recovery in the country. I know the place with an inside intimacy. I went faithfully every week while one of Charles’ friends stayed there. And met others who knew and remembered my son. I asked for an update recently to see what they needed so I could share with this community. And while most of you don’t actually live in Richmond, VA, it will give you an idea of what other recovery programs need right now.
Caritas is keeping its COVID-19 page updated as their operational challenges rapidly change. The three biggest effects for our recovery community specifically are:
- No new intakes into The Healing Place
- All residents of The Healing Place are on building restriction together, meaning any AA meetings and other support services are being conducted virtually
- Because they are unable to limit our facility to 10 people at one time, residents of The Healing Place are acting as a large family unit with regards to social distancing
- The city is providing support to isolate any individuals experiencing homelessness who have tested positive for COVID-19 in hotels
- Fortunately, we have not had anyone from a CARITAS program test positive at this time
This organization houses those in recovery from Virginia but also from surrounding states. Our recovery communities are at their most vulnerable. The threat of death from relapse or COVID-19 is very real. What Caritas needs right now is donations and that comes at a time when so many are strapped for cash.