Due to funding cuts, Fisher Clubhouse officially closed today and that
is very unfortunate. However, according to the
federal government “Future funding streams will be geared
towards consumer directed, recovery centered, programs”. Over
the years Southwest Solutions has shown the ability and the willingness
to identify and help us with our day-to-day concerns. In the matter
of the closing of Fisher, Southwest has turned a negative into a positive
by replacing the clubhouse with a proven consumer run program.
Founded in 1995 the Go-Getters program is the only certified consumer
run and directed program in Wayne County. Over the years, Go-Getters
has provided an environment in which consumers are able to find acceptance,
encouragement, and hope. Not only did Go-Getters sponsor this year’s
‘Empowerment Day/Recovery is Possible’ celebration, but Shirley
Cockrell (Dir. Go-Getters) and her daughter LeAnn worked tirelessly
to make this one the absolute best of the three Empowerment Day celebrations
held so far. The Go-Getters program has certainly fulfilled their mission
statement “To help members discover & develop their own skills,
talents and abilities for enhancing their daily lives’.
I used to wonder why in some of the best programs, some folks did well
while others did not. One thing I realized was that decent housing plays
a vital role in the of recovery process. During the day we can participate
in the most progressive programs. However, there is a tendency to lose
whatever gains we have made during the day by having to live in non-recovery
centered environments. Southwest Solutions began to deal with this issue
years ago by buying abandoned property, doing state-of-the-art rehab,
and moving consumers into recovery-centered housing. The really cool
thing is that all the necessary support systems, self help groups, physicians,
counseling, etc. are also in place. This assures a healthy start on
the recovery journey.
When Marilyn Snowden (Dir.
Detroit East) told me 3
years ago that she was going to make my dream of an Empowerment Day
a reality, I had serious doubts. In fact my self-esteem was such
that had it not been for Ms. Snowden’s support and encouragement,
there never would have been an Empowerment Day. When Irene Kazieczko (Michigan Department of Comm. Health) and Marianne Udow (former
Dir. Department of Human Services)
attended the first celebration I knew I had somehow stumbled upon a
gold mine. If such honored state leaders were willing to support me
in my efforts to spread the message of recovery, it meant they were
willing to support ALL consumers in their recovery efforts. Today, I
consider it my duty to share this same hope with as many of my brothers
and sisters in recovery as I possibly can.
On the 2nd of September Go-Getters will begin operating in
what was the Fisher Clubhouse and this fits in with the recommendations
of The Freedom Commission’s efforts to expand consumer directed programming.
The report also emphasizes the need for progressive ‘New Leaders’
capable of adapting to such things as funding cuts and yet be able to
keep our recovery first and foremost. Southwest Solutions is leading
the charge as Michigan moves into a whole new day when it comes to treatment
and recovery. And I am honored to be a part of their efforts.