Recent News

To Give Back What Was Freely Given To Us

The Community Relations Department would like to spotlight three new individuals who have completed the Outreach Summit and bring an enormous amount of passion, positive energy, willingness and dedication to the work that they do. Please welcome Krystle Peguero of River Community (left), John Catania of River Community Covina and Wellness Center (center), and Monica Garcia of Mid Valley Outpatient (right), to the Outreach Team at Social Model Recovery Systems. These three individuals not only reflect the core beliefs of our agency, but also stand in agreement toward our mission to be of maximum usefulness to the community. Thank you all for expressing such care, compassion, empathy and concern for the individuals, families and communities in which we serve!

Summer Drug Court Graduation Ceremony

Staff and participants of Mid Valley Outpatient, as well as family and community members, gathered at the El Monte Courthouse to attend our Summer Drug Court Graduation Ceremony. This group of 18 graduates have spent an average of 18 months participating in intensive outpatient treatment at Mid Valley Outpatient along with developing a 12-step support system in the recovery community. All of our graduates have obtained employment or are in the process of furthering their education and working toward future goals. The Honorable Judge Rudy Ruiz dismissed all cases and presented each graduate with a certificate, while encouraging all to continue their good work and progress. The Mid Valley Outpatient team is incredibly proud of the graduates and the tremendous amount of positive change created in each of their lives.

Sponsor Appreciation Day at River Community

River Community was proud to partner with River Covina and Wellness Center to host Sponsor Appreciation Day. This event drew a large crowd from the surrounding area and was a great opportunity for residents and participants to meet and talk to people willing to sponsor them. The event included two recovering co-occurring speakers, a barbecue lunch, and a pie throwing event to raise money for River Community and the SMRS Alumni Association. Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this event such a success!

The Gift of Hair Cuts and New Styles

Jenny Becerra, owner of The Frame Salon in Chino Hills, supports and believes in Social Model Recovery Systems' mission, vision, and commitment to our community and the people we serve. They showed this by graciously providing free hair cuts and new hair styles to River Community participants. Recently, Jenny and her stylist Brenda provided services to 15 of our men and women in treatment. Afterward, participants displayed feelings of joy and appreciation for the simple yet wonderful services given by The Frame Salon.


Congratulations to Ellen Striverson, LCSW

Social Model Recovery Systems would like to take a moment to congratulate and acknowledge Ellen L. Striverson, LCSW on her recent accomplishment of earning her License of Clinical Social Work for the State of California. This is a tremendous milestone that concludes years of hard work and dedication toward this goal. Ellen has spent nearly the past decade leading the charge of Mental Health, Sobriety, and Wellness for participants within the Social Model Recovery Systems' system of care and has done so with a tremendous level of professionalism, compassion, empathy and respect for those we serve and the work we do as an agency. We are incredibly proud of Ellen and honored to have her on the team at Social Model Recovery Systems.


Women's Journal To Recovery

 Staff Member Denise Valdivia (bottom left) and Director Chris Abernathy (bottom right) of River Community Covina and Wellness Center provided participants from Stepping Stones a Certificate of Completion for the Women's Empowerment Group. Based on Self, Relationships, Sexuality, and Spirituality, a “Women’s Journal to Recovery” is a Stephanie Covington Four-Module Curriculum. Each one of these ladies who went through the curriculum truly felt proud of themselves and expressed feelings of accomplishment, confidence, and joy.

Stepping Stones, Residential Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program for Women and Women with Children, is a program of Social Model Recovery Systems.

River Community Covina and Wellness Center, also a program of Social Model Recovery Services, provides day treatment, outpatient, and wellness services for adults with co-occuring disorders. 

KevinMichael Key Appointed to Alcohol Justice Board of Directors

UCEPP Staff member KevinMichael Key has been appointed to the Alcohol Justice, Board of Directors. Alcohol Justice began in 1987 as one of the endowed Buck Trust agencies, originally known as The Marin Institute. In 2011 the name was changed to Alcohol Justice to reflect its commitment to equity for all communities and its role as a nationwide industry watchdog.

Eliminating Alcohol Advertising on Public Property
• Alcohol Justice was instrumental in banning outdoor alcohol advertising on San Francisco’s Bay Area’s BART and MUNI public transportation systems and created model legislation to end alcohol advertising on street furniture in San Francisco.

• In January 2015, Alcohol Justice and the Coalition, which it staffs, passed an ordinance to eliminate transportation system alcohol ads in the City of Los Angeles. The coalition also successfully lobbied the LA City Council to eliminate alcohol ads from 6000 bus benches. Advocates such as Kitty Dukakis and Gov. Michael Dukakis, and the former Director of Public Health Jonathan Fielding have spoken out with the coalition.

KevinMichael began working with Alcohol Justice as part of the No Alcohol Ads on Public Property Coalition, which culminated with the passage of a new LA Municipal Code Ordinance in January 2015. Having been successful in curtailing alcohol ads on most public property, the Coalition members have reformulated themselves as the Los Angeles Drug and Alcohol Policy Alliance (L.A. DAPA) so that we can continue our efforts to make all of our communities safer and healthier. Just this week, L.A. DAPA organizations were able to derail AB1322 - the free booze at barbershops and beauty salons bill before it passed committee.