By Kurt Lewis
The Haldimand Press
DUNNVILLE—Since May 2019, Road to Recovery Haldimand has been fundraising, volunteering, and reaching out to families and individuals across the county who may be struggling with substance abuse or addiction.
The group was co-founded by Gina McIntee and Randall Arrowsmith, and in August 2019 they held the first fundraiser at Freedom Oaks Golf Club, netting $10,000 in donations after expenses.
In October, the group offered their first addiction treatment program, which ran for 10 weeks. The program uses the RedPath Treatment, developed by the Canadian-based organization WhitePath Consulting. The programs are unique in that facilitators don’t need to have any formal education, just an understanding of the consequences of substance abuse and addiction, and a willingness to guide. Seven people graduated from this program in January 2020.
Road to Recovery Haldimand has now registered as a not-for-profit group and has submitted a proposal to the Ministry for provincial funding. The group holds themselves to an ethical standard when budgeting their money, but as of now would only be able to hold one more RedPath program with their current funds.
“The money from the Ministry would allow us to provide a high-quality service to all of Haldimand – and we’re not interested in giving anything but high-quality service,” said a statement from the group, which includes board members Sue Wilkins and Gina McIntee, and board president Karen Prine.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the amount of substance abuse and accidental overdoses, owing to many people being confined in mandatory isolation. As well, because of the substantial donations that were made by small Haldimand businesses that are also struggling because of the pandemic, Road to Recovery didn’t feel comfortable holding a fundraiser or asking for more community money.
“In Haldimand, people should have options. We all need to embrace and help one another. We all need to stick together,” continued the statement.
The group emphasizes that they do not teach, but rather guide the participants in their classes to help themselves.
“Government funding is the only way we can do this. With 62,000 people across Haldimand struggling, we all need to step up and let them know they aren’t alone.”
The Road to Recovery Logo
- The blue heron represents standing in balance and meeting challenges headfirst. The bird can balance on one leg and be focused for hours at a time. He eats the fish headfirst, so the gills do not cause him harm.
- The pathway has no boundary and leads to the river, the water, which is the source of all life force.
- The sunrise represents new beginnings.
- The colours of the logo represent the elements of earth, which are essential to all life, air, water and fire.
“Each of us will meet the challenge of recovery, as individuals, at some point in our lives. However, we will also need a community of others willing and able to provide us with unconditional love and acceptance for sustained recovery. WE ARE STRONGER AS A BUNDLE THAN A TWIG.” —Road to Recovery team.