For Immediate Release
Contact: The Rev. Earl Kooperkamp
Phone: (802) 476-3929
BARRE, Vermont – The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Barre is sponsoring “Connections for Change” dinners and discussions the first Wednesday of every other month for anyone concerned about or struggling with substance use disorder. Addiction treatment providers will be participating and will be offering assistance to anyone interested.
“These dinners are absolutely judgement free and open to all. The purpose is to provide assistance to anyone with addiction concerns who is seeking help,” said Beth Mueller, the volunteer coordinator for the dinners.
Mueller said she decided to organize the dinners based on her experience as a volunteer at the community breakfasts at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Barre.
“For the past nine years, we, along with other churches in Barre, have served breakfast to our homeless folks, many of whom spend the night at Good Samaritan Haven, and anyone else in the community who is food insecure. Over the last few years we have noticed just how impacted some of them are by substance use disorder. In order to help address that problem we have started a new program, Connections for Change,” she said.
The Connection for Change dinners are held at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 39 Washington Street in Barre at 6:15 p.m. the first Wednesday of every other month. They are free and open to anyone seeking help dealing with issues related to addiction. The next dinner and discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, December 4.
“It’s said that connection is the opposite of addiction. With our meeting we are offering dinner and an informal information session with several different treatment providers from our area, giving folks who attend the opportunity to connect and learn what help is available to them.”
“These meetings are perfect for any concerned community member: worried parents, folks in recovery, folks who are still actively using drugs, and folks worried about a family member who is using drugs”.
Service agency staff attending the Connections for Change dinners include Vermont Department of Health, Peoples Health and Wellness Clinic, Central Vermont Medical Center’s Emergency Department and Turning Point. At the December 4 meeting there will also be training in the use of Narcan.