HAMPTON — The Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle awarded SOS Recovery Community Organization a $25,000 grant that will be used to support the opening of a new recovery community center in town.
Committed to improving the region’s quality of life through collective giving, SWGC was founded in 2006 by a group of women eager to use their skills and resources to address critical issues facing the Seacoast community. More than 170 members contribute annually to a pooled fund and participate in volunteer service projects in the community.
Over the course of the year, board members educate themselves about community issues, identify a cause on which to focus, and select nonprofit organizations that provide services in or to the residents of some or all of eight Seacoast towns. The focus of this year’s grants was addressing substance use disorders.
“We are extremely grateful and honored to receive this grant,” said John Burns, director of SOS Recovery Community Organization. “It is only through unique partnerships such as this that we at SOS are able to continue to expand the vital peer recovery support services and programs that people in the Seacoast need to find and maintain recovery from substance use disorder.”
Burns said the $25,000 will supplement the state’s opioid response funding through Harbor Homes and funding from Connections for Health to open a third recovery community center on Route 1 in Hampton.
“Both SOS and Connections for Health for Region 6 of the Integrated Delivery Network, Seacoast and Strafford County, have identified Hampton as an underserved area for substance use disorders and mental health disorders for those living below federal poverty levels,” Burns said. “The Hampton center would serve the Seacoast area as currently the two closets recovery community centers in the area are in Portsmouth and Manchester.”
Burns said SOS has signed a lease that commenced May 1 in the former Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce building at 1 Lafayette Road, which is 2,400 square feet. He said SOS hopes to have a soft opening of the center later this month.
SOS operates two other recovery community centers, in Dover and Rochester. In addition to providing crisis navigation, the Hampton Recovery Community Center will provide recovery coaching, phone recovery support services, meetings, sober social activities, outreach and education to reduce stigma, as well as provide a safe place for individuals to build connection and support.
Burns said the center will be open from at least 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and in addition to trained volunteer recovery coaches, it will be staffed by one full-time center manager and a full-time recovery support coordinator.
A program of Greater Seacoast Community Health, SOS’s mission is to reduce stigma and harm associated with substance misuse by providing safe space and peer-based support for people in all stages of recovery.