Charlotte Rescue Mission’s (CRM) free, 120-day residential recovery programs help people struggling with addiction achieve sobriety, find stable housing and work, and restore and build healthy relationships.
According to a recent NPR story, the isolating and restrictive effects of COVID-19 can increase feelings of anxiety and depression in recovering addicts – and those feelings, in turn, can trigger a relapse or exit from a recovery program. CRM’s residential recovery participants operate under the same “stay at home” mandate as the rest of the community and this fragile population lacks opportunity and access to fresh air, natural sunlight and socially-distanced outdoor activity. Charlotte Rescue Mission’s Tony Marciano reached out to YMCA of Greater Charlotte CEO Todd Tibbits to brainstorm solutions.
After working through details with county officials, YMCA of Greater Charlotte opened its Camp Thunderbird campus this week to CRM recovery program participants. With a careful focus on social distancing and strict adherence to CDC health and hygiene guidelines, Camp Thunderbird hosted 72 of CRM’s Rebound for Men participants and four staff for lunch, activities and socially-distanced time in the outdoors.
“The residents have been sheltered in place together for 21 days and operate as a family unit, eating, living and interacting daily. We needed a creative way to serve them during this pandemic and the Y answered,” said Tony Marciano, president and CEO of Charlotte Rescue Mission. “The joy and freedom one can experience with fresh air and outdoor scenery is truly healing.”
The Y, which has pivoted its efforts to respond to the community’s most critical needs, specifically in the area of childcare for essential healthcare workers, will host CRM’s Dove’s Nest, a resident recovery program for women and children, as well.
“YMCA Camp Thunderbird is an expansive lakefront campus and our staff immediately activated to serve,” said Kim Conroy, executive director of YMCA Camp Thunderbird. “It was a joy to host the men from Rebound and we look forward to serving the women and children from Dove’s Nest.”