Substance Abuse Re-entry Program Looks for Community Help

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Right Turn ReEntry held a faith-based breakfast Thursday to discuss the need for recovery housing and helping incarcerated individuals re-enter the community, specifically in Cole County.

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The meeting was to help educate community members, local law enforcement officials and faith leaders on what the re-entry process entails.

Brenda Schell with the Missouri Recovery Network said there is a lack of sober housing for recovering substance abuse addicts and the need for sober housing in Cole County is critical.

"Re-entry into society is not only important for the individual going through re-entry, it is also important for the community," said Vicki Bullock, Right Turn ReEntry co-chairman.

Bullock expressed her concern for the need for community volunteer members.

"We aren't asking for money, as nice as that would be, we are really asking for volunteers who can provide their services to recovering individuals," she said.

The goal of Right Turn ReEntry is to provide each individual coming out of prison with a mentor who can help guide them back into society. 

"They need jobs, they need housing, they need transportation, and if we can help them with one of those things, just one of those things, that will help them be successful and help keep them out of prison," said Bullock.

An estimated 363,000 Missourians need substance abuse treatment according to Debra Walker with the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

Recovering addict, Heather Gieck, spoke about her addiction which began early on in life and continued into adulthood. Gieck said, through recovery and the re-entry process she was able to get sober, gain custody of her three daughters and find a job to provide for her family. Gieck now serves as a mentor to incarcerated women.

Bullock said she hopes to gain volunteers, other agencies and churches to partner with Right Turn ReEntry in order to help incarcerated individuals.