Safe Harbor Recovery Center Grand Opening
On July 12th, over 150 people joined in the celebration of the grand opening of Safe Harbor -a recovery center located at 865 Islington Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The effort – the culmination of the hard work and commitment of many community members and staff – was spearheaded by Sandi Coyle, who serves as Executive Director of Granite Pathways and the Director of Recovery Services for Fedcap.
“The opening of the center was a dream for this community, and it opened because of the contributions of so many people in this room today. We will honor the memories of those who left us too soon due to overdose, and we will work to be a supportive force for those who are in recovery,” said Sandi during her opening comments.
Representatives of New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, and U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, were on hand to read letters of congratulations, as was Portsmouth Mayor Jack Blalock and Police Commissioner Joe Plaia. Other guests included Bob Fawls, a member of the New England Committee of the Fedcap board, and colleagues from Health and Human Services, advocates, First Responders from the police and fire departments, community providers and donors. Other supporters of Safe Harbor who were in attendance included Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, Rep. Tom Sherman, D-Rye, and Rep. Tim Horrigan, D-Durham.
Also in attendance were family members and a large number of individuals in recovery who will use the center as their “safe place.” Safe Harbor - the first and only provider of peer-driven recovery support services in the Seacoast area - provides a range of recovery-oriented activities that are grounded by recovery coaches, people with lived experience of addiction and recovery. They are helping individuals in recovery and family members to create a community of people working to reduce the stigma of addiction within the broader community. The center offers multiple pathways to recovery including Twelve Step Recovery support; meditation and yoga; onsite recovery coaches; support groups, SMART recovery, and family support meetings
The support of Fedcap, with an 80-year history of helping people overcome barriers, will provide additional benefits to the Safe Harbor Community. “Fedcap brings expertise in vocational training, professional development and resource referral to the center,” Sandi said. “The financial strength and diverse programming of Safe Harbor demonstrates to our community partners that Fedcap is an organization with substance, resiliency and innovation.”
There is still much work to be done. New Hampshire has the highest per capita death rate from drug overdose in the country, and many communities in the state still do how have adequate access to detox and treatment. This is starting to change - on July 13th, the Governor and Council of the State of New Hampshire approved a $1.2MM contract for Granite Pathways to establish Regional Access points throughout the state –helping individuals struggling with addiction find the resources and services they need.
John Burns, Director of Safe harbor Recovery Center, described in closing remarks how important the opening of the center is to New Hampshire’s Seacoast Community, and what it means for those seeking recovery services.
“Families and individuals in recovery feel safe and supported when they’re part of a like-minded community. They feel empowered to break silence of their own story.”