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. [insert “Please help us” photo] 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.
Early 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. As of July, 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 would allow 8 more men to reside in The Friends House once the work was completed. [Insert photo]
Also, late in 2018, MCRC established a relationship with “63 Washington” a nonprofit organization that owned another 3-story home in Camden that would be ideal as a recovery residence for women and their children. A purchase and sale agreement was signed and MCRC began active fundraising in hopes of acquiring the building for occupancy in 2019.