The Mid-Coast Recovery Coalition (MCRC) was established in April 2016 as the “Knox County Recovery Coalition (KCRC)” after a community forum about drug addiction highlighted the scarcity of area resources to help individuals and families find the help they needed for recovery. Dr. Ira Mandel, a family physician, who was the only doctor in Knox County treating drug addiction (other than the local methadone clinic), was on the speakers’ panel at the forum and challenged the community to respond with solutions. He recognized that most people with addiction lived with chronic anxiety due to living in unhealthy environments and situations. Without addressing the underlying reasons for their drug addictions, most people could not break their cycle of substance use. As a result, Dr. Mandel founded KCRC, a volunteer run nonprofit with the mission to make recovery support services available to all those in need.’
In November 2016, KCRC became the Mid-Coast Recovery Coalition, a 501 c 3 nonprofit. Fundraising began and its first “recovery coaches” were trained to help people and their families find the help that they needed. In 2017, care management programs were created to “Help Families Succeed”, “Help Inmates Succeed” and to “Help Individuals in Recovery Succeed”. Each program was staffed by staff with training and experience to assist with complex problems. Contrary to most other organizations involved in helping people with substance use disorder, all of MCRC’s programs were offered to the public regardless of availability of insurance and were offered at no charge.
In 2018, MCRC was presented with an opportunity by a donor to purchase a three-story house in Rockland to be converted to a “recovery residence” for men. This donor had first hand experience seeing many good men have addiction relapsed after release from jail or prison due to lack of a safe and supportive home. In July 2018 the first resident moved into “The Friends House” and the house was home to 4 men in short order, the maximum allowed by the City of Rockland at that time due to fire code issues with the stairs. On November 19, 2018, the foundation was poured to create a new fire code compliant stair tower that allowed 8 more men to reside in The Friends House. The stair tower was completed and a dedication ceremony was held in June, 2020 in memory of Ryan Gamage. Ryan was instrumental in the planning and construction of the project and wished to complete the construction for the benefit of many men in recovery.
In 2019, MCRC established a relationship with “63 Washington” a nonprofit organization that owned another 3-story home in Camden that was ideal to be used as a recovery residence for women and their children. After an active fundraising campaign, we were very fortunate to have raised funding to purchase the home and began providing a recovery residence for women and their children.