Volunteers paint addiction recovery center
CARIBOU, Maine — Nearly twenty volunteers came out on Wednesday night to help paint Recovery Aroostook’s recovery center, a space dedicated to helping anyone struggling with addiction.
Erik Lamoreau, the public relations chair of the newly formed non-profit, said they hope to have the building open by Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.
The recovery center is located at 14 Old Van Buren Rd. in the former Catholic Charities thrift store. Recovery Aroostook is leasing half of the building from Catholic Charities, who plan on reopening the other half as a thrift store in the future.
Lamoreau says the recovery center will offer peer-to-peer services, consulting, and access to additional resources.
“We’ll offer services for anyone seeking recovery, and anyone who has a loved one struggling with addiction,” he said. “We’ll have different kinds of meetings here, everything from church groups to yoga classes, you name it.”
At first, volunteers hope to open the center two days a week, eventually expanding to five days a week.
Center workers will be CCAR (Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery) trained, and will help people seeking assistance in any way they can.
“We’ll be a resource that has access to more resources,” Lamoreau said. “If you’re in recovery, you can hang out or come to a meeting, and if you’re currently struggling with addiction you can come out and meet people who are going through the same thing.”
Lamoreau emphasized that the facility will help people at any stage of addiction, whether they’re still addicted, going through detox, or have been clean for months and are seeking additional support.
“Sometimes people just want someone to talk to,” he said, “or maybe they need legal help, and we can direct them to someone who may be willing to help.”
The work on Jan. 31 consisted of painting. Moving forward, however, volunteers will start putting up walls and creating separate rooms inside the recovery center.
“We want to have a couple privacy offices, a meditation room, a kitchen, an area for kids to play while a parent is here, and a large meeting area where we can host dances or Superbowl parties,” he said. “People who want a substance free place to go, instead of a bar, can come here.”
Between his involvement with Recovery Aroostook, owning Allen’s Way, a sober house on Bennett Drive, taking classes at UMPI and NMCC, and working at the Aroostook Mental Health Center, Lamoreau has been tremendously busy.
“I get calls daily,” he said. “I give out contact information as soon as I can to anyone looking for help or addiction services. There’s a short window and, if someone says they need help, that window closes quickly if they can’t get it.”
As far as the large turnout of volunteers is concerned, Lamoreau said he isn’t at all surprised by how many people showed up to paint the building’s interior.
“There are a lot of people in our local community who are affected by this disease and want to do something,” he said, “and this is us doing something. We’re working really hard to get it done.”
“There are a lot of different people out there who are both addicts and former addicts,” Lamoreau continued. “Mothers, fathers, professionals, and all kinds of different people have been affected by addiction or alcoholism in one way or another, and that’s what we’re here for.”