By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
Everett officials, including City Councilor John Leo McKinnon and Mayoral Chief of Staff Kevin O’Donnell, were on hand Saturday, April 15, when a dozen peer recovery coaches graduated from their training program and became eligible to begin working with Everett residents who are in addiction recovery.
The graduation of the peer recovery coaches was a milestone for Everett’s support program, which has recently hired a program coordinator and clinician in the Everett Health Department to ensure that Everett residents who are battling addiction issues can receive the help, counseling and support they need to remain in recovery and rebuild their lives.
The addition of these new peer recovery coaches, who work with residents in treatment and recovery will be supervised and supported by the new full-time Health Department staff, gives the City access to a resource that has proven effective in dozens of other communities across the nation.
Peer Recovery Coaches are people who also are in recovery and understand the difficulty in attaining and maintaining a sober lifestyle. They work with recovering addicts and help them find the motivation to stay sober.
The new program coordinator and clinician staff will also work with the same community of people, to help provide access to other services, such as access to housing job training and other services that can interrupt the recovery process.
The establishment of the new full-time positions and the use of recovery coaches, who are also paid through the program, was a joint effort between Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s administration and the City Council’s Special Opioid Task Force committee, which worked together with recovery advocates in the community to plan and fund the program in Everett.