CEO of Center for Family Life and Recovery based in Utica talks about the organization mission, challenges. “We are all about prevention and recovery,” she says
By David Podos
Q: Who is the clientele that you serve?
A: We work with people who are in recovery, whether that is recovery from alcohol, drugs or from a mental health condition. Our job is to transform people’s lives for the better. We also work with prevention and have a strong foundation in prevention. We offer school-based prevention services as well as family-based prevention services. Additionally, our clients can receive peer services.
These are people who have had addiction or other issues that are very similar to what our clients are dealing with and they offer coaching and support to those clients. So we are all about prevention and recovery.
Q: What is one of the most important things you offer?
A: We look at the four pillars of recovery: your home, your health, your community and your overall safety. Our part is really important to meet people where they are at. For instance, if someone is on their third or fourth relapse, they don’t want to look you in the eye, they know it’s happening again — they are down and out and depressed. But we keep working with them, we don’t give up.
Perhaps the next relapse won’t be as bad. We have a mantra here that says, ‘where there is help there is hope.’ Even speaking aloud the word hope, it just lightens the heart.
Q: Can you give us an example of how you can impact people’s lives?
A: We had a family during the height of COVID where their son came home and started using and he overdosed. They sent him to the hospital but shortly after he was discharged. The parents were besides themselves and did not know what to do, or who to call for further help. Someone in the community said to these parents that they should place a call to the Center for Family Life and Recovery, and they did. We helped get their son into treatment. He kept in touch from time to time but has now moved out of the area. We gave not only that client hope, but brought hope to his family as well.
Q: What counties does your organization serve?
A: The two main counties we serve are Oneida County as well as Herkimer County. We also offer services in Otsego and Madison counties.
The Center for Family Life and Recovery is located at 502 Court St. in Utica. It has an operating budget of $2.4 million and about 50 employees. It can be reached 315-733-1709. For more information, visit www.whenthereshelpthereshope.com.