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Bloomington Health Foundation, Centerstone, City of Bloomington and Curry Auto Center Partner to Improve Substance Abuse Recovery
Updated July 11, 2018 4:35 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - A seven-month program aimed at rehabilitating those in early recovery from substance abuse is set to grow in its second year.

Thanks to locally-coordinated efforts in funding and services between the Bloomington Health Foundation, Centerstone, the City of Bloomington, and Curry Auto Center, the Supported Employment Program will be expanded to impact more individuals on the road to recovery in our community.

The program is modeled after employment programs around the country and hires individuals in treatment to fill seasonal maintenance positions cleaning up five Bloomington parks and a portion of Kirkwood Avenue, May through November. All employment participants have access to Centerstone's Peer Run Recovery Center where they can shower, do laundry, and eat a healthy meal while also getting recovery and employment coaching, lifeskills training, and engage in comprehensive treatment services. Last year, the pilot program hosted 6 individuals and this year they expanded to 11.

"On a given day in Bloomington/Monroe County, there are more than 300 homeless individuals based on the Point in Time Count," said Linda Grove-Paul, Vice-President of Adult Services at Centerstone. "The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that 42% of homeless individuals have a severe mental illness or a chronic substance use disorder, and this rate is climbing due to the opioid epidemic. An important predictive factor in an individual's recovery and resilience is employment. Employment not only provides income, but offers a structured activity with dignity, a sense of purpose, a connection to their community, and accomplishment. Employment before or during behavioral health and substance abuse treatment predicts both longer retention in treatment and the likelihood of a successful recovery."

The costs for the program are split between the four entities: The City of Bloomington covers the wages, taxes and uniforms for the employees, the Bloomington Health Foundation is funding life skills training and onboarding, one Supervisor Coach, and is providing a van for employee transportation in partnership with Curry Auto Center, and Centerstone supports another Supervisor Coach, administration charges to operate the program, and implements the weekly program.

The investment from the newly-renamed Bloomington Health Foundation, formerly the Bloomington Hospital Foundation, is part of its $1M+ High Impact Community Health Solutions they announced at their launch event on June 5th.

Jonathan Barada, President and CEO of the Bloomington Health Foundation added, "the Bloomington Health Foundation is proud to partner and invest with Centerstone, Curry Auto Center, and the City of Bloomington in response to the addiction recovery needs of our community. This evidenced-based pilot program provides meaningful employment as part of the recovery process and is a great example of the core values of our organization: local, collaborative, and impactful."

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