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ARCH Recovery Center has ribbon cutting

HOULTON, Maine — Despite a cold, rainy Saturday that left much of the community shuttered inside their homes, a full complement of people turned out for an open house at the Aroostook Recovery Center of Hope.

The open house and ribbon cutting occurred nearly two months after the new peer center for individuals struggling with alcohol or drug problems quietly opened at 36 North St.

The open house took place from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, and numerous people visited the home throughout the day, according to Deb Jacques, director of marketing and development for the Aroostook Mental Health Center.

The new facility, a service of AMHC in collaboration with Link for Hope, is a place where individuals can receive support for their recovery journeys. The goal of the facility is to help connect people to resources and also to serve as a venue for various recovery meetings.

“We are really excited to finally be open,” Trudy Rairdon, director of Link for Hope, said on Saturday. “We want this to really be a welcoming environment for those seeking support.”

During the event, Eugene McLaughlin III was announced as the new substance use peer recovery specialist/volunteer coordinator at the facility.

McLaughlin said that he brings not only his own talents and education, but his past experience, to the position.

“I am in long term recovery myself,” he said. “I have a passion for helping others and the people here need someone. So far, the community has shown us great support.”

He said that he looked forward to offering one-on-one peer counseling, recovery coaching, monthly Naloxone administration training, and employment and wellness education and events.

The Aroostook Recovery Center of Hope in Houlton, which is located at 36 North St., will hold a grand opening 1-5 p.m.Saturday, Sept. 14.
(Courtesy of Aroostook Recovery Center of Hope)

“We want to have the door open for people,” he said. 

He acknowledged that the center will be accessed by both those in recovery and seeking recovery. He said that he did not anticipate any conflicts from this.

“I believe it is good for addicts to see people who are in recovery and being successful at it,” he said. “Addicts treating one another, encouraging each other, and keeping each other honest.”

Jacques said that there will be a computer available to support those seeking employment, a clothing and food cupboard, and other assistance to help people restart their lives. She said they currently need more clothing for children.

“I think we are going to be successful here,” she said. “This partnership with Link for Hope has been great, and they have wanted this here for so long. I am glad to see it open.”

The center is currently open Monday through Friday, and is working to stay open on the weekends.

For information, visit the group’s Facebook page.

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