Western Maine Addiction Recovery Initiative

Mollyocket Motel/ Crosstone Restaurant

November 1, 2017

6:00 – Welcome and Introductions
Present: Brendan Schauffler, Michelle Roberts, Nancy McClean, Tonia Mason, Ben Tucker, Bill Wood, Chris Summers, Fran White, Bill Wentworth, Kelly West, Wayne Gallant, Allie Burke, Jessica Abbott, Jen Small, Warren, Rebecca Chagrasulis

6:05 – Financial Report
$3000 deposited from the NEATTC sponsorship for the rally. Another $500 donated from Dave will be added soon.

6:10 – Sub Committee Report Outs
Legislative subcommittee: There is not a lot that can be done right now. We are hoping that the federal government can make a difference. We hope that federal rules change so that insurance will follow people who become incarcerated. Maine is willing to go along with this. It is a tremendous cost to our counties when we are paying for all of the medical bills of those who are incarcerated. The law is that we can’t deny medical treatment to prisoners, but it is an unfunded mandate. (Example, diabetics on insulin. Maincare funding stops as soon as they enter the jail). Our senators are very aware of this issue. An additional issue as far as our group is concerned is that different counties may determine which drugs they will continue. For example, in some counties may say yes to insulin, but won’t pay for suboxone. There may be work to be done at the state level for consistency between counties. Our county jail will provide suboxone. Some jails have their own medical providers; others will take inmates to a local emergency room for diagnosis and prescriptions.

Education subcommittee: Looked at the MEHAF grant which has given funding to WMARI for the rally, the toolbox and Michelle’s time. We are now looking to the funding for the second year. The Education Committee would like to recommend that we use part of the second year of the grant to fund a person who might look at how to develop a sustainable business/funding plan as we look forward. Some possibilities would be to look at the options of developing a 501(c)(3) or developing a stable long-term fiscal relationship. The funding would not be able to be used toward incorporation fees. If WMARI chooses to go in the direction of a 501(c)(3) we would have to come up with the administrative fees (perhaps about $1000). If we decide to go in the 501(c)(3), we can get a joint letter of support from Senator King and Collins (by contacting Ben Tucker and Carlene Trembly), and will likely have help to move that process along. Benefits: there are a lot more funding sources that we may be able to tap into if we develop a 501(c)(3). On the other hand, there are also many other non-profits in the state and county which we might be competing for the same dollars. However, our mission may be different enough that we will be looking for funding sources that might be not be competing with other non-profits in our area.

Should we make a decision about this tonight? Chris mentioned that we would be able to ask Rotary for help with this process as they have been going through it.

Not being a Non-profit has held up our fundraising. It also has tax benefits as well.

Suggestion: That we use staff time to look at what it takes to move toward 501(c)(3) status. No one disagreed that this is the direction that we should move in. Brendan will talk with MEHAF about moving forward with researching the move to Non-Profit status.

Request – we need to know the structures that need to be in place in order to meet the requirements of becoming a non-profit.

Suggestion – don’t re-create the wheel. Perhaps contact similar groups and get ideas from their by-laws.

The Bethel Are Non-Profit Collaborative might be a good resource for us. Another group BARN – Bangor Area Recovery Network might be a great resource.


6:20 – News
Project Save ME: None

Updates: Jen mentioned our focus on opiates, but informed us that the rate of cocaine and crack cocaine is skyrocketing. The heroin and opioids are still in the news and the crack & cocaine is not getting media attention. We need to stay focused on Substance Use Disorder. We need to keep this in mind as we develop our brochure and speak to community groups. Do we do an op-ed about the growing concern about crack and the ability for people to buy paraphernalia at local convenience stores? Becky and Tonia will work on a draft and Brendan can wordsmith it. Suggestion – make sure we keep an overall emphasis on the positive. We can over use negative & fear and people get numb to it. WMARI is about hope.

National Drug Take-back Day last Saturday: 41,700 pounds in Maine – taken back! Two pick-up full from Oxford County. We’ll be doing another one in April.


6:40 – Spotlight:
Next month: Safe Families

Trainings: Recovery Coach Train the Trainer: Jessica has been trained as a trainer for Recovery Coaches. The group has offered to be a resource here if we have a Recovery Coach Training. We’ve talked in the past about what is expected of people who would like to be trained as a recovery coach – clean for a year, no violent or sexual criminal history. We have the ability to run background checks and do interviews. Now that we have Jess as a trainer, how soon will we be able to train Recovery Coaches? Costs: $44.00 a book (every one needs a book). We need to set up training several months in advance. We need to have the time as well. It should be two weekends in a row, or one weekend followed by a few hours a day during the week after. This is important for the cohesion of the group which has benefits such as coaches being willing to reach out to one another when they are coaching and supporting others.

Other possibilities: Add supports after the training – attending WMARI meetings, meeting monthly as a group. Perhaps trying a different structure for trainings so that we get more people involved.

Why was our first round of training not as successful as we’d like? The structure of the training on two weekends? The lack of connection and supports after the training? The lack of referrals? The fact that people believe that Recovery Coaches are only for when they are in crisis?

Keep what works, figure out what we need to tighten up. It might be good for the Recovery Coach committee to talk about this in greater detail.

The suggestion was also made for Jessica to get reimbursed for the time that Jessica has given for training.

Other expectations: Paperwork? Time commitment? Participation in WMARI? Participation in months recovery coach meetings?

 7:00 – Other
Community Outreach – Rotary Meeting: Brendan is attending the November 15th Rotary Meeting to talk about WMARI, Project Save ME, and the importance of a nonjudgmental supportive community is to Recovery.
7:30 am., 11/15

Brochure/Police Support: We need to confirm that all of the police departments are on board. This is a good time to reach out and confirm this before publishing the brochure. Send an invitation to the chiefs of police to attend our next meeting to talk about support for WMARI. Ask police what they need from us. Perhaps get involved with the CTI training to give information about Project Save Me.

 7:30 – Adjourn

Next Meeting: Wednesday, December 6th, 6 – 7:30