Three Questions is a new Next Stage series. Over the coming months, we will feature social good leaders from across the region who are partnering in new and innovative ways to create big community change.
- Tell us about Hope Haven’s proudest accomplishment last year.
The need for treatment for Substance Use Disorder has never been greater. In the five years before the pandemic, the number of people with an SUD in the U.S. had remained constant at around 20 million, according to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. By the autumn of 2020, a dramatic rise in substance misuse had become apparent. In that year’s report, the number of Americans with SUD doubled to 40 million. Overdoses rose nearly 30% in one year, taking the lives of more than 100,000 people. Addiction is a disease of isolation…and what have we been doing but isolating. But it’s not just the isolation…it’s the stress and the worry…the loss of jobs, relationship problems, financial difficulties, fear of illness. Understanding the critical need to provide life-saving treatment for SUD, Hope Haven never stopped admitting new residents to our program throughout the pandemic. Our staff showed up in person every single day to provide professional counseling, workforce development and life skills training, nutritious meals, and the love and encouragement our residents desperately needed.
- What do you hope to change this year?
Hope Haven is the region’s only licensed Therapeutic Community, which is a national best practice for the treatment of Substance Use Disorder. Everything we do is centered around community, and the pandemic stole our ability to gather and maintain proximity to one another and to the larger community that supports us. This year, we look forward to returning to our roots as a vibrant community – hosting recovery meetings, professional development, and volunteers on our campus. We are also looking forward to helping to make an impact in our larger community through our involvement with and support of A Home for All: Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s strategy to end and prevent homelessness.
- Hope Haven is a nonprofit, but it’s mission is also highly applicable to the private sector. Why should companies care about your mission?
Companies should care about our mission of providing a foundation of recovery for individuals and families impacted by Substance Use Disorder so they can build healthy independent lives because the disease of SUD touches the lives of one out of every four people. It does not discriminate based on ANY factor. It is present in every community and every company. The more exposure people have to the incredible hope and transformation found in recovery, the less stigmatized SUD becomes and the more open people who are struggling become to seeking the help they need. Being knowledgeable about community resources for issues facing employees and their loved ones is important for employers to maintain a healthy workforce.