This story is associated with a fiscal year 2020 award made to WestCare Ohio/East End Community Services (Dayton, Ohio), through the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program (COSSUP).
About the Program
Get Recovery Options Working (GROW) is a coordinated, multidisciplinary, mobile crisis response team that includes staff from the Dayton Police Department, EMTs from the Dayton Fire Department, and a Certified Peer Supporter. GROW responds to opioid overdose calls across Dayton and connects overdose survivors and their family and friends with treatment and community outreach services, recovery support, and overdose prevention education.
Program Successes and Effect on the Community
A man had been coming to the East End Community Services office for several years seeking food and coffee, as he was experiencing homelessness and struggling with substance use disorder and other challenges. All of the office staff had compassion for him and continuously encouraged him to go to treatment.
One day he received notice of an upcoming hearing to address drug charges from several years ago. He did not remember the arrest and was contemplating leaving the community. Peer support staff talked to him about his options and how his life could change if he went to treatment and faced his charges. That same day, he allowed GROW Team members to take him to detox/treatment and made arrangements with the court, public defender, and treatment provider to appear in court remotely.
Since then, he has made an amazing adjustment to treatment and has remained sober for several months, something he had never done before. He continues to come to East End Community Services for coffee, but these days he is on his way to a recovery group instead of heading back to the streets. Rather than covering his head with a hoodie and avoiding eye contact, he stands tall and engages with the office staff. His success is the result of his own determination and dedication to treatment—and it’s also a victory for the collaborative partnerships between East End Community Services, the GROW Team, his treatment program, the public defender, court services, and other providers.
“My journey of recovery has taught me the power to help change lies within oneself and others. With the right support, a commitment to personal growth, and a positive outlook, I have helped others overcome the darkest of times. I share with those that I have had the privilege to work with that recovery is an ongoing process. And for those that I am still supporting, remember, you and I are never alone on this journey, and there is always hope for a brighter tomorrow.” — GROW Peer Supporter
See the COSSUP section of our site for information about the BJA program through which funding was provided.