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Mercer Council OORP and AFAR Team Up for Cold Weather and COVID "Care Packages" for AFAR Residents

IMG-0169 Client Care Package Delivery for AFAR

With colder weather arriving, COVID cases rising, and economic hardships abounding, Mercer Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction has been searching for creative ways to support other organizations involved in the fight against Substance Use Disorder. 

Mercer Council has serviced the Mercer County location for the statewide DMHAS-funded Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP), which provides front-line support to clients facing Opioid-related challenges, including withdrawal management/treatment referrals, outpatient programs, and linkage to post-treatment social services and sober living facilities.  Since the program inception in 2017, Mercer Council has assisted nearly 1000 clients in our four area hospitals and in the community at large.

A Future After Rehab (AFAR), is a 501(c)(3) public charity offering safe, supportive, and affordable sober living residences in Mercer and Burlington counties.  AFAR operates 3 female houses and 2 male houses across this geographic area, with a total of 31 clients at full capacity.

On November 19th 2020, Mercer Council staff packaged up 31 Cold Weather/COVID “Care Packages” and delivered them to the five AFAR Sober Living homes.  These packages included a combination of high quality apparel (Scarves, Hats, Earbands, Gloves, Warm Socks, Face Masks, etc.) and also timely items such as hand sanitizers, first aid kits, and contact cards for Mercer Council’s OORP Program Navigator and Assistant Navigator, opening the door for more referrals to our OORP Program services.

The cover photo above shows the delivery of the Care Packages to AFAR’s Maggie and Jerry Cipollone, who serve as volunteer AFAR Co-Chair of the Board/Female Director of Housing and Male Director of Housing for AFAR respectively.  Also pictured is Stacey Ross, a Mercer Council OORP Certified Peer Recovery Specialist who also sits as a volunteer on AFAR’s Board, and serves as Director of Housing for Mercer County.

Mercer Council believes that in these trying times, where Opioid-related overdoses and addiction rates are rising to all-time highs, there is an unprecedented need for cooperation between all organizations dedicated to helping those who currently struggle, or have struggled in the past with Substance Use Disorder.  We are happy to be able to offer support to AFAR, which has helped hundreds of individuals continue their recovery journeys in safe and supportive housing.

Mercer Council:  http://www.mercercouncil.org

AFAR: http://www.youandafar.org

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Monday, 19 April 2021

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