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Help Us Write Orcas Island’s
Recovery In Community Story

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Trouble in Paradise

Orcas Island is a fantastic place to live and grow, and when services and help are needed, excellent resources exist if you know how and where to get them. But, for some with mental illness or substance abuse disorders, Orcas can be a place of insurmountable challenges. They are our friends and neighbors, and they are, to many of us, completely invisible.

These islanders need help. As things are, and in spite of the wide array of existing local services and organizations, they’re falling through the cracks. We know from experience there’s a way to prevent that and give them a chance to become productive citizens again, here at home in our own island community.

What We're About

Recovery In Community starts when we hear of an Orcas resident in trouble with mental illness or drug and alcohol problems who is in a crisis situation. If they are isolated from supports and services, we go immediately to the tent or the car they’re living in, the park where they spend their days, the place they ARE, right now.

We try to determine the immediate, short-term needs—to keep them out of harm’s way; to find food or shelter; to get insurance, medical treatment, counseling, or detox—and we do our best to guide them towards these services. We walk with them, literally, to bridge the gap between their current circumstance and the resources available. We’re there for them through the transition.

Later, when they’ve gotten some help—counseling or treatment perhaps—and are ready to re-connect in a fresh and more productive way, we support them through that transition, too. We help them get a job with a partner employer, find transitional housing through another community partner, get to appointments or meetings, learn how to budget and balance a checkbook from an islander willing to teach those skills. We do our best, at both ends, to ensure they don’t fall through the cracks. And throughout, we’re an advocate who supports and encourages their progress.

Until now, we’re an informal group of islanders who recognized this problem and have tried to respond as best we can. We have seen a few remarkable successes—take a look at the examples in the presentation below. Still, the need is growing. It’s time to organize and take it to the next level.
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What We're About

Recovery In Community starts when we hear of any Orcas resident in trouble with mental illness or drug and alcohol problems who is isolated from options or assistance.  If they fit our criteria, we go to the tent or the car they’re living in, the park or library where they spend their days. We go to where they are, and we go right now.

We try to determine immediate needs—to keep them out of harm’s way; to find food or shelter; to get insurance, medical treatment, counseling, or detox. We walk with them, literally, over the bridge from crisis to assistance. And, when they’re ready, we’re there for them again through the transition to living a connected and productive life.

Who We Are

The organizers of Recovery In Community (RIC) are islanders with experience in this arena and the background to make RIC work. We include veteran trustees of other community organizations, representatives of the 12-Step community, a trained counselor. And the group is growing. We all have witnessed the impact of resourceful advocate to guide a troubled islander toward the services and supports they need.

For several months we’ve gathered information on the scope of the problem locally and elsewhere, and we’ve looked at efforts to address this specific need in other communities. We’re enlisting potential community partners—people and organizations who can be the eyes and ears to identify potential RIC clients, and who also provide critical services for them. We’ve drawn from the actual experience of doing this work to define the criteria for choosing our volunteer responders, the skills they will need, and the training required to qualify them.

 
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What We Expect to Do

Your contributions to this seed fund will help us hire and train a part-time Coordinator, who will in turn train a team of carefully selected volunteers to respond to RIC clients. The Coordinator will receive referrals from throughout the community and will qualify potential clients. Importantly, the Coordinator will also continue to form and strengthen alliances with community partners—the organizations, agencies, and individuals whose missions we support and who help us help them support our clients. 


Your Help = A Big Impact

Help us reach these people who are struggling in our community. We can tell you from first-hand experience that the results can be powerful and the rewards profound and meaningful. Please, donate today!

What We Expect to Do

Your contributions to this seed fund will help us hire and train a part-time Coordinator, who will in turn train a team of carefully selected volunteers to respond to RIC clients. The Coordinator will receive referrals from throughout the community and will qualify potential clients. Importantly, the Coordinator will also continue to form and strengthen alliances with community partners—the organizations, agencies, and individuals whose missions we support and who help us help them support our clients.

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Your Help = Big Impact

Help us reach these people who are struggling in our community. We can tell you from first-hand experience that the results can be powerful and the rewards profound and meaningful.

Please, donate today!

And, we have premiums for your generous contributions!

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Ready to Get Involved?

 

Contact Us

For inquiries, questions, or additional information about Recovery In Community, please use our web form and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.