The KCCC is working on a newsletter for prospective clients and medical professionals/community groups that may refer clients for treatment. This newsletter should be available later this year. In the meantime, here are a few stories you may find interesting from our March, April and May 2012 newsletters.
Addict turns artist with help of Kansas City Community Center
In less than three years, Ron Hoyle’s life has changed completely—and all for the best. While Hoyle used to spend all of his time and passion in pursuit of alcohol and drugs, he now has a thriving career as an artist and a lovely wife.
““There was a time in my life when I never thought there was any hope,” Ron says. “Now every day is like Christmas.”
The change in Hoyle’s life came in November 2009, when he checked into KCCC’s detox program and then received residential treatment in Excelsior Springs.
“When I got up there, I made the decision in my mind and heart that I was going to pay attention this time,” says Hoyle. “I had been in and out of AA for years. I thought I could do it my way, but it doesn’t work like that. I’m proof of that. I never had any sobriety until I pin-pointed the problem and started treating my disease just like someone would if they have cancer.”
While in treatment, Hoyle met counselors Corey Wrench and John Baker. Both helped him overcome addiction and start what Hoyle calls his “miraculous” life.
“I put everything I had into it, but those guys are really great,” he says. Hoyle still keeps in touch with his counselors and even meets occasionally with KCCC treatment groups also striving for recovery. Last fall, he spoke at the Northland location’s grand opening celebration.
“One of the most common things I tell a group when I go to talk to them is ‘thank you,’” Hoyle says. “Speaking to them is a selfish thing. It helps me. I never leave there wanting to go drink and go to the drug house.”
Instead, Hoyle takes his art on the road, traveling and selling his graphite drawings of iron workers, a trade he used to claim before following his dream of becoming an artist.
Board bio: Marilyn Scafe
Marilyn Scafe first joined the KCCC board in 2008 after colleagues and friends from Missouri Probation and Parole encouraged her to become involved. Scafe wasn’t a hard sell.
“This resource to the criminal justice system is absolutely necessary for the safety and quality of life in the Kansas City area,” she says. “The programs and expertise of the staff make a positive impact on the functioning of many people who have no other place to turn for help.”
Scafe, a corrections consultant, has worked as executive director of the Kansas Reentry Policy Council, chairperson on the Kansas Parole Board and program director for the Metropolitan Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission. As vice president of the KCCC board, here’s what Scafe has to say:
Why is our mission so important? “Good health is foundational for the quality of life. It also contributes to the safety and quality of the surrounding family and community."
What is the biggest challenge facing KCCC today? “Becoming healthcare reform ready. We have already discovered that the transition into the health care of the future will demand an expansion of our capacity. The staff training and implementation will require many resources, some of which the organization must develop, while maintaining our present level of services.”
What is our biggest strength? “Our staff. The professionals in the organization are committed to their work and the mission.”
How do you see the KCCC changing in the future? “We will serve a more diverse population, more than justice clients. The community will be more aware of our mission and services. We will attain financial stability and have a sound foundation from which to expand.”
Overcoming addiction: One woman's story
Deborah isn’t ashamed of her past. In fact, she’s happy to share her story if it helps
Deborah, who lives in Independence, used to abuse alcohol and drugs, crack in particular, before she was arrested for assaulting a woman in July of 2008.
It was in the Jackson County Detention Center that Deborah says she found God and began trying to overcome addiction.
“I was in a big room with a bunch of beds and a bunch of women,” says Deborah. “I was so scared. I was just devastated. I hurt that girl and I didn’t mean to do that.”
After two and-a-half months in the detention center, Deborah was able to post bail. Although she stumbled a few times over the next few months, the last time she used drugs was December 25, 2008.
Later, she was sentenced to two years of probation and drug and alcohol recovery classes through the Kansas City Community Center’s Independence office.
“My drug counselor there was really helpful,” says Deborah. “They teach a higher power in those classes. You just have to stick to it knowing there is a God there for us.”
Now Deborah is working on reimbursing the woman she assaulted for $4,000 in medical bills — a debt she’s paying off through her own cleaning business.
Deborah is also very involved in her church and ministers to the homeless by cooking and delivering food to those living on the streets every Saturday.
“This is my calling,” she says.
Who’s who on the KCCC board of directors: Meet Bonnie L. Frazier
The KCCC is extremely fortunate to have the support of eight experienced and dedicated members on our Board of Directors, and we want you to meet them and know them all! Drum roll please for the first in our series on our board … Bonnie L. Frazier!
In addition to serving as secretary on our Board of Directors, Frazier, LCSW/TIES, is a Family Support Specialist at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Frazier was recognized in 2001-2002 as one of “30 Black Men and Women of Distinction in 2001-2002 by Friends of Yates, Inc. She has a master’s degree of social work, is a LCSW, and is an Internationally Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Here, Frazier weighs in on a few issues affecting the KCCC:
Why do you think the mission of the KCCC is so important? “Giving back to the community,” more often than not, means providing opportunities (sometimes beyond a “Second Chance”) for individuals and families to have goals and dreams for better lives and futures in spite of their multiple challenges and related barriers.
What do you see as our biggest challenge? Making necessary adjustments to Budget Cuts and Health Care Reform.
What do you see as our biggest strength? The new leadership, which includes the direction in which the organization is moving.
What is your hope for the future of the KCCC? Hosting an open house to a treatment facility for female offenders with children.
New detox center unique to Kansas City
For 30 years, the Kansas City Community Center has helped people rebuild their lives through alcohol and drug treatment. Now the KCCC is providing even more help and hope with the Medically-Monitored Inpatient Detoxification Program (MMID).
This program safely and effectively helps people withdraw from alcohol and/or drugs. The KCCC’s MMID program is also a cost effective alternative to hospitalization—and the only publically-funded program of its kind in the Kansas City area.
Jennifer Lindstrom was recently hired as the Program Manager of the Medically Monitored Inpatient Detoxification Unit.
Lindstrom has 15 years of experience as a nurse in mental health and substance abuse programs. Most recently, she managed a similar program in St. Joseph that has closed.
“Everyone suffering from substance abuse issues struggles daily to maintain their sobriety,” Lindstrom says. “Many have lost everything—their families, friends, possessions and themselves along the way.”
“This program can become the stepping stone to sobriety. We can ease their physical withdrawal and offer support services, which can change their lives forever.”
Northland counselor a true rehabilitation success story
After nearly eight years of addiction, Cory never imagined he’d one day be clean and sober – and a counselor for the KCCC. He’d been a client on many occasions, receiving in-patient and outpatient treatment. Finally, Wrench decided: “Enough is enough.”
“I figured out after 10 treatments, there’s no way to do both; you either stay clean and sober or you go back to the streets,” says Cory. He stayed away from the streets where he grew up, moving to Excelsior Springs and taking on several jobs at the KCCC before earning his certification as a counselor.
Last year, Cory regained full custody of his 10-year-old son. He also spends every weekend with his younger son, who is three. On April 7, Cory will celebrate five years of recovery.
“I thank everyone at the KCCC for helping me rebuild my life,” he says. “I love my life today so much. At the end of the day, I’m just hope. My clients can say, ‘If he did it, I can do it.’”
Cory is a counselor at the KCCC’s Liberty location, which opened last October.
Southwest Missouri launching How to Cope program for families impacted by addiction
Kansas City Community Center offices in Southwest Missouri are working on a new program called How to Cope, a seven-session course that teaches:
- Addiction as a disease;
- The physical, psychological and social effects of addiction on family members;
- Enabling and co-dependent behaviors;
- Construction of a personal plan of action for restoring balance and healthy lifestyles;
- The process of intervention.
Helping Rebuild Lives:
Helping people rebuild their lives isn’t just a marketing tagline— it’s the reason we’re here, each and every day, offering a hand up to those in need. Here are just a few reasons why we are so important to the Kansas City community:
- In 2011, more than 10,000 people walked through our doors.
- We serve an average of 1,500 people every month.
- At least 95 percent of our clients’ income level is below the federal poverty level, and most are uninsured.
- KCCC’s Drug Court Program is one of one the first established in the nation.
- Missouri has the 11th highest incarceration rate per 100,000 residents in the nation. We have an average of 509 incarcerated individuals per 100,000 residents.
- Approximately 1 in every 10 adults in Kansas City has a serious mental illness. Without treatment, many of these cases lead to unemployment, incarceration, suicide and early death.
While these statistics show how critical we are to the community, comments from our clients are even more powerful. Here’s one from a client in Independence to Probation Officer Ruth Larson:
“I would like to thank you for being so wonderful to me from the day we met. You have made this experience a very positive one. You have been the ear for me when I needed it and the smile and laugh that is contagious. I appreciate these things and will remember them always. I will miss coming to see you, but promise to visit (for good reasons!)”