1 Fall 2013 Steppingstone Today Steppingstone, Inc. 466 North Main St. Fall River, MA Inside this issue: New Outpatient Program launched United Way of Greater Fall River Kickoff Just for Today 4 Fall River Homeless Connect What Recovery Means to Me Recovery Day in New Bedford Why Am I Still Awake? 7 Therapy Puzzles 8 Journey Of Recovery 9 A Journey to Live by Bruce W Public Figure Helps the Homeless FALL RIVER Chris Herren, a Fall River native who graduated from Durfee High School and moved on to become a Celtics player, volunteered his time to help Steppingstone s First Step Inn overcome recent budget cuts and raise funds to continue operations. The First Step Inn is the primary emergency homeless shelter in Fall River. Approximately 400 tickets were sold to the Herren speaker event held at Whites of Westport. Chris shared his journey from fame to struggles with addiction, which changed the course of his life. Chris s experiences motivated him to establish the Herren Project and Project Purple, both non profits focused on helping others with substance use disorders. Following his presentation, Chris generously took the time to individually speak with many attendees and provide them both inspiration and hope. Because of Chris s generous spirit and commitment to help the First Step Inn, Steppingstone was able to raise over $7,000 from the event, which will keep the First Step Inn open longer hours during cold weather months. The past few years the requests for shelter at First Step Inn have increased. This past year the Inn expanded by 6 beds in an effort to meet this growing need, now serving about 200 homeless persons each year. With the expansion and now budget cuts, its been a blessing that people like Chris step up to the plate to help us keep the shelter operating so we can continue to provide services to the homeless in our City explains Rosa Medeiros, Director of First Step Inn.. For more information or to donate, please visit On October 4 th 2002, I began a journey that would eventually give me a desire to live; which I did not have when I arrived at Steppingstone. I was at the lowest point of my life. In 2000, I had lost my mother (my best friend) and in 2002 my wife asked me to leave after 36 years of marriage. I felt totally alone and broken hearted. I was also not in the best of health and of course still dealing with the obsession and desire to drink in order to escape the pain. I didn t even think at this point I would make it through the program. But while at the Men s Recovery Home I met a wonderful councilor named Claire, who would be there for me throughout my stay. She was very kind to me and helpful and made a big difference in my life. She gave me hope, of which I had none at the time, and tools I needed to stay sober. I am still connected to Steppingstone, living at the Stone Residence, and I live my life to the fullest today. I made the journey from a living death to totally living life! I want to thank all the staff who helped me along the way. And of course a special thanks to Steppingstone! Yours Truly, Bruce W.
2 Page 2 Fall is an exciting time here at the Outpatient Program! We have four new groups starting. New Outpatient Program Launched Parenting Group with Maureen Roy, Thursday September 12 th 12 to 1:30 Grief and Loss with Karen Dunford, Tuesday September 17 th 3 to 4:30 Stress Management with Marina Raye, Friday September 20 th 1 to 2:30 Seeking Safety with Rosa Medeiros, Monday September 23 rd 5:30 to 7 These groups are currently accepting referrals. Please call if you are interested in participating in these groups. If you have ideas for new groups, please let us know! Insurances accepted: MBHP, BMC, NHP, Cenpatico, Fallon, Tufts, BCBS, Medicare & Medicaid, Network Health. If you have a primary substance use disorder and no insurance, we can provide you free services through a MDPH contract. Due to the growing number of requests for treatment, Steppingstone s Outpatient Clinic expanded in July 2013, opening a new Outpatient Program in a building acquired by Steppingstone. After the economy began to crash around 2008 we began to receive more requests for treatment than we could serve due to the confines of office space and staff. explained Melissa Kachapis, Director of the Outpatient Program. That and the fact that the majority of clients in our residential substance use treatment programs have mental health disorders led to our decision to once again expand and open another Outpatient Program despite our recent expansion in The Outpatient Clinic opened in 2007 remains at 179 N. Main Street and the new Outpatient Program is located at 279 N. Main Street. Both provide the same services - mental health and substance use treatment as well as gambling treatment services. Besides individualized treatment, ongoing groups are offered. We develop our groups from the feedback and needs of our clients. We are actually just starting some new exciting groups this Fall. Kachapis shared. The Outpatient Clinic and Outpatient Program are staffed by psychiatrists, mental health clinicians, substance abuse counselors and staff certified in gambling treatment. Hours of operations are Monday through Friday 9 am 8 pm and Saturday 9 am 5 pm. If you would like more information, or are interested in making a referral, please call
3 Page 3 United Way of Greater Fall River Campaign Kickoff On September 12, 2013, the United Way of Greater Fall River held a campaign kick off celebration bowl-a-thon. The event was held at Holiday Lanes in Westport and many teams participated, including Steppingstone s team (shown in photo). Each bowling team contained five members at a cost to participate of $5 per member. The event included food, fun, prizes and lots of bowling! It was a great time to socialize with staff in a relaxed setting away from the day to day activities in our programs. We were all happy to take a little time out of our busy schedules for such a great cause! shares Kathleen Schedler-Clark, Steppingstone s Executive Director and a member of Steppingstone s bowling team at the event. "We are very grateful for the participation of the staff of Steppingstone and our other member agencies in these special events. It provides an opportunity to step back from our jobs for a couple of hours and have some fun." expresses Bob Horne, Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Fall River. United Way of Greater Fall River is a locally incorporated, volunteer-led, non-profit organization that raises charitable contributions Bowling team member of BankFive. to invest in programs and services that deliver measurable results in changing lives and building stronger communities. It was established in this community in 1947 and has been a leader in the community for over 66 years, helping to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Fall River and the surrounding towns of Swansea, Somerset, Westport, Assonet, Little Compton and Tiverton. The organization has raised over $65 million since 1947, with a current annual fundraising level of $1.5 million. This effort is a tribute to the ongoing volunteer leadership of the organization. Today s United Way continues its annual campaign success along with a strong Endowment Fund and Planned Giving effort. The organization helps fund programs and services for 31 health and human service agencies in the community throughout Greater Fall River. To find out more about the United Way of Greater Fall River, or to donate, please visit: or phone Steppingstone is a United Way of Greater Fall River Agency
4 Page 4 Just for Today by Matthew S. Just for Today Why are you reading this?...chances are you are an addict or an alcoholic or both. Sometimes we forget that first and foremost, that is the reason you are here. And if you are reading this, then you know where here is. We don t come dancing in the door of a treatment center. We, if you are like me, come crawling in with nothing. I mean nothing. You come in broken and afraid but not ready to admit it. Often you come in close to death but somehow still nursing a thread of hope. You get prepared to fight the fight you have fought many times before, but yet you commit to fighting it because you are out of options out there. You show up at detox close to death s door. You show up because you have nothing left. You ve burned all your bridges and hopes that you can control this beast. You listen the best you can during groups and 12-step program commitments, but you re not firing on all cylinders and it s difficult to understand what these people are trying to tell you. But you understand a common theme they all share, and that s hope. And you usually leave with one thing that gets you through that day. After the detox, you decide to continue on to treatment for one reason or another. Maybe it s because you want it bad enough, or you re out of places to go, or you re just going through the motions to get your family off your back. Whatever the case may be, you re here now and now you may have a fighting chance! Don t ever forget what brought you to your knees, but do get down on your knees in the morning and night and talk to your higher power. You probably didn t like this place when you came in. But desperation kept you here. You might not like it right now, but do yourself a favor and stick around just for today. And tomorrow, stick around for tomorrow. Thoughtful Quote Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. ~Winston Churchill You just have to hang in there and stick around one day at a time until the day comes that you want to stay. Than without even realizing it, the baby steps you have been taking have added up and your life is beginning to change. The compulsion to use weakens bit by bit and you start working on things you never even thought of before. I know you can t imagine this right now. Maybe you have another run in you, maybe you don t. But I suggest you hang in and you stick and stay. Just for Today.
5 Page 5 Fall River s Homeless Connect Aligning with the national goal to end homelessness, Fall River held it s fourth annual Homeless Connect event at Bristol Community College on August 2 nd. Free transportation was provided for homeless and at-risk persons to attend the event. The venue provided a one-stop opportunity to connect to various resources and services in our community including housing, substance abuse treatment, medical health care, entitlement benefits and much more. Government officials including Mayor William Flanagan and Senator Michael Rodrigues attended and spoke in support of the event and efforts of community providers to end chronic homelessness. Steve Ozug, Vice President of Students and Enrollment Management at Bristol Community College also spoke at the event as well as keynote speaker and consumer Jamila Wade of SER- Jobs. Persons in attendance were provided a continental breakfast as well as boxed lunches, free transportation to the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to obtain State identification cards and free backpacks with hygiene products and other goodies. Steppingstone s First Step Inn staff and many other area agencies staff attended tables and provided assistance to homeless and at risk persons in order for them to connect with various area resources. To view the event, go to: v=ublkzju5aac Sweet Potatoe Bisque From Head Chef Mike, our Director of Food Services With the cold weather arriving soon, a nice bowl of bisque might just be the thing to warm you up! Very easy to prepare! Enjoy 2 Tb Butter ½ cup onions, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced ½ teas. Ginger minced Salt & pepper to taste ½ cup heavy cream 1. Melt butter, sauté onions, potatoes, garlic and ginger. 2. Add stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cook 30 min. Puree, strain, add cream, adjust seasoning.
6 Page 6 What recovery means to me By Steppingstone clients September is national recovery month. Recovery represents many different things to many people. In honor of Recovery Month, we thought it would be interesting to share some of the thoughts from clients and of Steppingstone of what recovery means to them. Recovery means to me: Family, meetings, helping others, staying out of jail, fellowship, step work, Steppingstone and its staff, doing 12 step commitments, working full time, just being a member of society and being happy! A chance at living a good life. Working on myself, staying clean, surrounding myself with positive people. It means that I have to change my old way of thinking (stinking thinking) and learn a new way of life. Healing from a hopeless state of mind. Getting rid of my defects and shortcomings and replacing them with positive values and morals. Having the obsession lifted and turning my life over to the care of God. Starting my life over to the time before it was ruined by drug use. Forgiving myself for the many mistakes I made and moving ahead with a new agenda; being good to myself and others. To feel good about myself and the decisions I made which cleared my mind, body and spirit of all which has harmed me and my loved ones in the past. Recovery is a new life, new freedom. My spirituality is amazing. Means change and becoming aware of my issues. Becoming a better mother and woman. Recovery Day in New Bedford Positive Action Against Chemical Addiction (PAACA) hosted a Recovery Day event on September 13, 2013 in celebration of National Recovery Month. booth was staffed by Danielle Brown, David Bell, and Tom O Brien from the Medical Case Management & Welcome Home staff. New Bedford s Mayor Jon Mitchell attended and addressed the crowd, congratulating all of the participants and agencies on their collaborative efforts to work on recovery and prevention and to add comments on the City s commitment to supporting these efforts. The display table for Steppingstone, Inc. contained information on the agency s entire array of services, including information on the new OPC, and ROAR. HR information on volunteer and employment opportunities was available. The Participating agencies included Steppingstone, Inc., A.I.D.S., Inc., Pharma Health Pharmacy, Breakin the Chains, High Point, PAACA, Seven Hills Behavioral Health, DrugFree New Bedford, Veterans Transition House, AdCare, MOAR (Massachusetts Organization of
7 Page 7 Why Am I Still Awake? Sleep Problems For some people, falling asleep is as simple as laying down and closing their eyes. For others, it seems like an impossible dream. If you have a sleep disorder, you re not alone. More than 30% of the population has some form of insomnia during their lifetime. As you age, the chances of having sleep problems rise. About 50% of people over age 60 suffer from insomnia. About 35% of insomniacs have a family history of this problem. For people with depression, the prevalence of insomnia increases to 90%. Women are twice as likely to suffer from insomnia as men. Now that you understand more about the problem, what can you do? There are several things you can do to improve your sleep. Tips to Improve Sleep Avoid substances that interfere with sleep three hours before bedtime including caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and other stimulants. Establish a relaxing pre-sleep routine that will transition you from the busy day to rest time. An hour before bed, you could take a bath, practice relaxation exercise, read a book or watch television. Make your bedroom sleep-ready by having a dark, quiet, cool environment. For sleeping, room temperature is best between degrees F. Use your bedroom for sleep and avoid watching television or using computers in the bedroom, etc. Wait until you are tired to go to sleep. If you re not tired and you try to sleep, you just become frustrated. If you try to sleep and your still awake after 20 minutes, get up and watch television or do something relaxing in another room until you feel tired enough to sleep. Avoid thinking about stressful issues or discussing stressful topics. If you have the tendency to worry about work or life problems at night, about an hour before bed, write these problems down on paper with a brief idea of what action you can begin to take to work on each problem, then put the list aside. The next day if you still feel they are important, you can pick up your list and take action! Remember nothing gets resolved by worrying, and lack of sleep can just make problems feel larger. Eat light before bed. Don t eat pizza or heavy foods a few hours before trying to sleep. Digestion of heavy foods, or indigestion can keep you awake at night. If you re hungry, eat light. Exercise can help you have a good night s sleep. However exercising too close to bedtime (2 3 hrs before) can stimulate your body and keep you awake. Maintain a consistent wake time. If you wake up at noontime one day, most likely you ll have difficulty getting to sleep nine hours later! Stay relatively consistent on the time you wake each day, so you ll be able to keep your body on a good sleeping routine. There s many sleep meditation videos on YouTube and other internet sites. Also many books and other resources that can help guide you to develop better sleep. Sources of some content: National Sleep Foundation, Better Sleep Council, Institute of Medicine, US Surgeon General s Office
8 Page 8 Therapy Puzzles Puzzles helped my recovery Mike M., T-House Addiction is puzzling, the strong compulsion to use even though you know what s going to happen, the damage caused and despite that many people still go back to using. But is there another side of the coin... like can puzzles help with addiction? In my experience, they can. One day I was telling my brother that I was having dreams about drugs. He suggested that I try to be more productive with my time and gave me some games and two puzzles. A friend of mine in the program and myself decided to try the one thousand piece puzzle. Before we knew it we were done in about ten days. A year later we are still doing puzzles and the dreams are gone! If this worked for me, I m hoping maybe it will help someone else having drug dreams. I m a client in Steppingstone s Transition House and I d like to share one of the puzzles we just completed (below picture). How do puzzles help? Susan B. Although I couldn't locate evidence-based research regarding the therapeutic value of puzzles, I did find many recovery oriented websites providing various types of therapeutic puzzles (a few sites are listed below). There were several articles of clinics and other venues providing puzzles in waiting areas for patients to pass the time. Various Internet articles also indicate puzzles may help people recover. One article was of a Wisconsin woman who suffered a severe stroke. Her family reported she completed over 60 puzzles which helped her regain cognitive skills and dexterity. Taking all this into account and Mike s experience, puzzles may be just the thing that help you refocus, relax and recover!
9 Steppingstone Today Page 9
10 Page 10 STEPPINGSTONE PROGRAMS Men s Treatment Program 466 North Main Street x 102 Women s Treatment Program 522 North Main Street x 101 Women s Treatment Program 979 Pleasant Street New Bedford, MA Outpatient Treatment Program 279 and 179 North Main Street Next Step Home 506 North Main Street x 113 William B Webster Program 506 North Main Street x 118 New Bedford Graduate Program 977 Pleasant Street New Bedford, MA Transition House 542 North Main Street x 118 First Step Inn Emergency Shelter 175 North Main Street Stone Residence 177 North Main Street Welcome Home 5 Dover Street New Bedford, MA Let us know your thoughts! To provide feedback, suggestions or articles, please Steppingstone Today s editor, Susan Bennett, at Help is Needed- Please consider donating money to Steppingstone s First Step Inn, the primary emergency shelter in Fall River. The Inn accepts monetary donations all year round in order to remain operational and help the homeless in our City. Go to and click the Donate Now button Everyone Can Recover Substance Use Treatment, Mental Health Treatment, Homeless Services Free Diabetes Prevention Program Saint Anne s Hospital is offering this Program which starts October 9, 2013 and will be held every Wednesday for 16 weeks from 6-7 pm in the Nannery Conference Room (Room 134) Clemence Hall 795 Middle Street. Call to sign up. Cardiac Prevention Program SOUTHCOAST Health System will offer this Program starting October 24, 2013 from 9 am 12 pm at Ships Cove Apartments 130 Canal Street, Community Room, 2nd Floor. Free total cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and body mass index screenings. A Nurse and Dietitian will be available to answer question.
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