One Day a DMV, the Next a Recovery Center
INSPIRE Recovery Center is a lively space that offers a chance for people in recovery to come together in a safe, fun, and comfortable place while connecting with others in the recovery community. The Center serves as a hub for recovery meetings, recovery coaching services, complimentary programs and services such as journaling and crafts, or for simply connecting with others over a cup of coffee and a quick game of Cribbage.
The Center, a project of Healthy Acadia, was established in September 2021 at 24 Church Street in Ellsworth. Prior to that, the building had served as a Maine State DMV facility. The Center’s manager, Beth Alteri, said immediately after opening there were more visitors looking to renew their drivers’ license than visit a safe place for those living in recovery. “But that didn’t last long,” she said.
Beth recalls one client who refers to the Inspire Recovery Center as “magical.” When he first visited the center, he was actively using substances. “I took him to a job interview a few weeks ago, and he cried and said, ‘when I came into the center, all I wanted was a warm place to watch TV. I didn’t care about recovery. I didn’t care about any of it. That was over a month ago. I’ve only used twice in the past month. My sister is letting me come visit more often. I had this job interview today,’” Beth remembers him saying. At the time of the interview for this magazine, the person had over 60 days sober. “He wasn’t even considering recovery before coming and staying at the warming shelter.”
In addition to 12-step meetings and recovery coaching, there are other activities offered, including:
- SMART Recovery Meetings (Self-Management and Recovery Training). SMART Recovery uses cognitive behavioral therapy — changing the way we think about addiction, the way that we think about use, the way we justify things by telling ourselves things that may not be true.
- SMART for friends and family, which focuses on how to talk to your loved one about recovery without seeming pushy or forceful. Substance Use Disorder (SUD) impacts the entire family, and SMART for friends and family helps affected others to manage their own thoughts, emotions and struggles, as well.
- Parenting and Recovery Support Groups
“We assist people with completing housing applications, connecting with primary care providers and help with preparing applications for state health insurance and EBT cards,” said Beth. “We also offer snacks and have some supplies we use to help those who are food insecure. The items we supply are funded by another source; and we do our best to leverage funds when we can.”
Beth thinks what makes INSPIRE unique is the effort to create a safe, comfortable zone for people; and the staff that genuinely cares about the people they serve. “There are some things you can’t train people to do…” she said. “We are lucky we have an incredible team of people who just love what they do.” She went on to say one of her goals for the center is to hire more staff. “We could increase our offerings,” she said.
The Center is currently in the process of hiring an Activities Coordinator and then the sky’s the limit!