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Coastal Recovery Community Center

Issue 27

A Center Open for Everyone

It all began when a community led discussion in 2016 about an immediate need to address substance use disorder was held. In order to tackle the issue, the town would need a brick-and-mortar space where people could come together as a true community.

Three people from that meeting are now recovery coaches and members of the Board of Directors for the Coastal Recovery Community Center (CRCC) which opened in 2017 and serves 100 members a month with an additional 100+ coming in for meetings.

Erin Hustus has been the Co-Director of the Center since CRCC first opened its doors. And those doors are open to everyone in the community.

“Everything is open to the general public. There’s no one who doesn’t know someone who is currently using or in recovery,” said Erin. In Erin’s case, she is an affected other.

“Our center meets the needs of the entire population, from very young children to the elderly,” Erin said.

“This illness affects everyone and we want to make sure people know there’s a place for them to come, no matter what age or whether they are in recovery or not.” On any given day you will find a meeting ranging from AA to NA to Overeaters Anonymous.

Monthly sober events also take place at CRCC. “We try to host sober events in sync with events that are often associated with substance use, like St. Patrick’s Day and the Super Bowl,” Erin elaborated. “We like to provide an alternative experience that is equally, if not more, fun without substance use.”

The Center partners with the Knox Clinic for Wellness Wednesdays on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. The events range from Reiki to sound therapy and are free and open to everyone in the community. “There is such a sense of calm over the Center on Wellness Wednesdays,” Erin said. “You can see the calm on people’s faces.”

A proud moment for the Center was when a local artist, through Arts in Action, worked with youth to design a mural conveying hope, meaningfulness and bridging the gap. The artist then worked with the young people to bring the mural to life for CRCC.

“The result, which includes butterflies, hands and waves, are a visual reminder of how we are all connected,” Erin explained. “They chose the same colors as other dozen or so local community murals around town to signify being part of the community.”

“We had an open house at the Center to showcase the mural. The church even brought parishioners down to see.” The story was even covered by The Penbay Pilot, Erin said.

When asked about future goals for CRCC Erin replied, “Our end-all, be-all hope is to have a detox center, transitional housing and the community center all in one space. Transportation is an absolute barrier, so being able to meet needs in a single location will help reduce that.”

CRCC is the closest center to those who are in Knox, Lincoln and Waldo Counties.

“We keep going so we can reach as many people as we can,” Erin said, “offering a place that’s available and open for everyone.”

This article was made possible with the support of the OPTIONS program and the Maine Office of Behavioral Health.

Beth Ellis D’Ovidio
Beth Ellis D’Ovidio
Beth D’Ovidio is a public relations/communications professional with extensive experience writing compelling content for PR, marketing, and social media. She has 20 years of experience in developing and implementing successful media strategies, plans and campaigns.

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