CATHOLIC CHARITIES RESPONDS TO THE OPIOID CRISIS
Transformed from Addiction to Recovery
“Thank you for doing for us what we can’t do for ourselves – for believing in the solution until we can believe it ourselves.”
Sara was in college when she started abusing opioids. In a few short years, Sara was shooting up heroin and trying to quit, just to be pulled back by her addiction. Sara entered treatment programs and was unsuccessful until she discovered Catholic Charities residential treatment for addiction at Matt Talbot for Women. “Without Matt Talbot, I’d probably be dead,” says Sara who lost friends to overdoses. “At Matt Talbot, we were on a strict schedule with a real structure that allowed me to focus on treatment.“
El Dona and Mu Aye arrived from Thailand with their families to settle in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood. This summer they spent a week at Camp Christopher making new friends and finding new possibilities.
Far from a refugee camp, Camp Christopher provided these young friends, including Eh Pe, an opportunity to learn through God and by having fun in nature. Their week at camp was filled with new experiences like horseback riding, swimming, hiking, archery, arts and crafts, fishing and canoeing – experiences they would never find at home or school.
Camp Christopher, located in Summit County and serving all of Northeast Ohio, has been making the difference in the lives of children for over 100 years. The camp has made improvements to embrace all children, even those with disabilities, so that campers leave feeling relaxed, free, and with a smile on their face.
ST. ELIZABETH CENTER
When John arrived at the homeless shelter, he felt this was the end – this is where he would spend his life. Two months later John was working and in his own apartment thanks to Catholic Charities.
“If it weren’t for the shelter, I don’t know where I would be right now,” says John, who had been dealing with personal issues and was bouncing from place to place with no secure residence to stay. “Catholic Charities gave me confidence that I could get back on my feet. They showed me that I wasn’t worthless. They gave me hope back.”
The goal of St. Elizabeth Center in Lorain County is to improve the quality of life and provide safe housing.
The Center, which opened in fall 2017, serves homeless men in its overnight shelter and also provides meals and social services to men, women and children who are vulnerable.
ST. MARTIN DE PORRES FAMILY CENTER
It has been 20 years since Naomi retired as a nurse assistant, yet she still loves being with people. Today, Naomi spends time with friends at St. Martin de Porres Family Center.
Two days a week Naomi walks to St. Martin de Porres Family Center, which is in the heart of her east side Cleveland neighborhood, to be with friends. There she enjoys breakfast and lunch, participates in exercise classes, and plays dominoes and bingo. Best of all, she is not “at home doing nothing,” as she likes to say.
The beautiful and newly remodeled Senior Center at St. Martin de Porres focuses on adult socialization for seniors that helps to reduce their feeling of isolation. It’s a home away from home atmosphere that is welcoming, secure and helps in caring for the needs of older adults.