"We couldn't be any happier with our continuous growth since we formed Think Of Michael. The impact and differences we are making on a daily basis is powerful to be a part, seeing people recovering and changing their entire lives. Thank you to everyone who has helped us get to where we are today entering 2021. The support and generosity of so many has been absolutely amazing. We continue to grow, adapt and learn. We have seen some of the problems exposed during the current pandemic, and others have been going on for years without change to the systemic and societal problems that continue to work against those actively seeking the help they need. Most do not even get help. So there is lots of work to be done in 2021 and beyond, especially with the added problems the global pandemic is having on the recovery community. We won't stop until people stop dying, families stop being torn apart and everyone who wants the necessary help and treatment they require, deserve the access to that treatment to ultimately save their lives.
Do not hesitate to ask for help, there are solutions and everyone can make these changes if they become willing to do so and put in the work."
We have been receiving emails and calls daily requesting scholarships from people outside of our existing network of referring clinicians, treatment facilities, recovery coaches and others we typically work with. We have made exceptions given the current circumstances to provide funding to a wider range of people, but unfortunately we can not provide everyone with a scholarship. We have met with and collaborated with several other leading nonprofits and industry leaders to maximize our impact by working together.
We continue to work hard daily to do all we can to help as many people and families as possible, especially during these difficult times.
COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESPONSE RENT RELIEF PROGRAM
FULL PRESS RELEASE
MARCH 28, 2020
Carmela Dalton, President of The Think of Michael Foundation, announced today that in response to the global Covid-19 Pandemic, the Foundation contributed $10,000.00 to The Gavin Foundation to assist it in its Rent Relief Program.
The program will benefit those individuals in recovery and currently housed in a certified sober house.
Think Of Michael was founded two years ago after Carmela lost her son, Michael, to an opiate overdose while in outpatient treatment.
Since its founding, they have granted “scholarships” to individuals referred to them by a network of clinicians who have been closely involved in the treatment of the individuals. The clinician's referral is accompanied by a written request from the individual stating why he or she feels that a transition to sober house living will greatly increase their chances of sustained long-term recovery. The typical scholarship subsidizes rent for a month, providing the individual extra time to obtain employment and helps relieve some of the anxiety and stress associated with their transition to the next phase of their recovery. While sober houses are a critical component to many people's recovery, health insurance does not provide any coverage for sober house living.
She went on to say that due to the current Covid-19 Pandemic, "people in recovery are in need of our help more than ever" as they have been devastated by not only the loss of employment and its financial impact, but also the forced cancellation of all support groups and changes to individual therapy access – both critical to sustaining sobriety, especially in early recovery.
John Mcgahan, President & CEO of The Gavin Foundation stated that his organization “is very concerned for people in early recovery living in sober homes - many of whom will not qualify for unemployment benefits because they have been out of the workforce due to their addiction. We are most grateful to The Think of Michael Foundation and others for supporting our Rental Assistance Program for individuals living in a certified Massachusetts Alliance Sober Home. We need to continue to support these individuals in their recovery and continue to outreach/engage people in active addiction and get them off the streets into treatment.”
Michael Aschkenasy, The Gavin Foundation’s Director of Development, said that "The Think Of Michael Foundation’s contribution will go a long way in helping us through this trying time.”
Mrs. Dalton also thanked Representative Brad Jones, the Minority Leader of the House, for assisting in their Outreach Program and introducing them to Jennifer Halstrom, the Director of Housing & Homeless Services within the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS). Mrs. Dalton said that Jennifer had been involved in discussions with the Dalton family regarding their Outreach Initiative before this crisis evolved. Then this past week, she reached out and said, “the public health crisis has affected those in recovery in an inordinate way” and suggested that we talk with John Mcgahan of The Gavin Foundation since our interests are very much aligned.
Once we spoke with John, we knew that their efforts warranted our financial support and we were happy to do so.
Carmela and Richard Dalton were recognized
"for going above and beyond to make their community a better place to live"
in the 2 years since Michael's passing, recognized as 2019 Persons Of The Year by Essex Media Group. Along with their son Jamie and daughter Stacey, they formed Think Of Michael to help raise awareness and to directly help other individuals and families struggling with substance use disorder (SUD). Their goal is to prevent other families from experiencing the same pain and loss.
Pictured Left to Right:
Jamie Dalton, Lucas Cook, Maddie Cook, Ava Cook, Stacey Dalton Cook, Jon Cook, Carmela Dalton and Dick Dalton.
The Daltons were presented Official Citations from both The Massachusetts House of Representatives and Massachusetts Senate. Massachusetts Senator Brendan Crighton (right) presented the Daltons with the Citations.
The Think Of Michael Foundation not only provides sober living placement, transition assistance and financial scholarships, but also access to our extensive knowledge and network of reputable recovery resources to further help people and families in any way possible. Each scholarship recipient is placed in the absolute best possible situation to meet their individual recovery goals and specific needs to achieve and sustain long-term recovery.
Assistance we offer includes connecting people with a Recovery Coach, peer support, 12-step meetings, sponsorship, educational resources, virtual support meetings during the current Covid-19 Pandemic, continued aftercare treatment, family support, workforce re-entry assistance and more. We will do everything in our power to make every person's transition as smooth as possible while helping to build a solid foundation for their long-term recovery.
We recognize that every person's recovery path is unique to them and different methods have proven successful for different people. We are here to help and connect people with the necessary resources they need.
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Think Of Michael, Inc.
A Registered 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization
LYNNFIELD'S FIRST NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH COMMUNITY EVENT WAS TRULY A SPECIAL NIGHT IN OUR TOWN. WE DECORATED THE TOWN WITH PURPLE RIBBONS, BOWS AND LIGHTS FOR RECOVERY MONTH. OVER 600 PEOPLE OF ALL AGES WALKED DOWN A CLOSED OFF MAIN ST TO THE COMMON LAWN. GUEST SPEAKERS SPOKE, INFORMATION TABLES FROM LOCAL RESOURCES WERE AVAILABLE AND IT CONCLUDED WITH A BLESSING AND VIGIL. THE EVENT WAS CREATED, PLANNED & SPONSORED BY THE THINK OF MICHAEL FOUNDATION AND A HEALTHY LYNNFIELD.
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