Recent News

Women's Symposium

The agency recently exhibited at the 2015 Women’s Symposium, presented by the Betty Ford Center. The Women’s Symposium focuses on the advanced training for professionals who treat women. This year’s theme was "A Reachable Peace". While addiction is an equal opportunity disease, it affects women differently than men. How women become addicted, start using, progress, recover and relapse is unique to their gender. Recognizing these differences can be critical in identifying addiction, determining the most-effective treatment options, and helping women summon the ability to find lasting recovery. Topics for the day included the Story of Betty Ford, told by Susan Ford Bales, Family Recovery by Debra Jay, Trauma & Addiction in Women by Laura Ferguson, Aging & Addiction in Women by Marcia Newman, and Healing from Depression: 8 Keys to Recover & Thrive by Gayathri Ramprasad.

We were very proud and honored to be part of this wonderful day, to listen and speak with great women on professional topics as well as personal experiences in mental health, addiction, treatment, and recovery.

Successes and More Birthdays

On March 30, we are happy to report that yet another resident has graduated from our Touchstones program.  After six months of hard work and a coining out ceremony, the newest member of our alumni spent time with family and staff saying his goodbyes, and made sure to leave his mark on the graduation wall on the way out.  Although he will be missed, we know he will go on to do great things and stay in touch with Touchstones the whole way. Congratulations and good luck!

Last month, Touchstones celebrated its 23rd anniversary with current residents, staff, and Social Model Recovery Systems Board of Directors. To add to this momentous occasion, Board Member Marie F celebrated 34 years sober, and Touchstones Counselor Irene M celebrated 15 years sober! Great job ladies and looking forward to another 23 years of helping adolescents and their families!

Of Service ...

Staff member Rene Avila and two resident kitchen helpers provided an amazing menu for our recent Outreach Summit training, conducted by Mike Schaub and Melissa Morales. Great job on providing an awesome service! Omni Center is known for introducing our residents to culinary arts specialties in following menus, food handling, and providing excellent catering service for their peers, meetings, and trainings.

Another Graduate!

River Community Covina participant, Jose G., recently celebrated his transition to our Wellness Center. Both staff and peers have witnessed the growth and smart work that Jose has put into his recovery and treatment. Jose has been a fine example of "This is how it works". We are so very proud of you, Jose!!

Black History Month

UCEPP recently hosted its annual Black History Month celebration, featuring a neighborhood procession and activities in San Julian Park and Gladys Park. This collaborative effort included participation and contributions from our youth leaders, local service providers (LA Mission, JWCH, SRO Housing Corp., KYCC), and local businesses (CVS & Jose's Auto). The event showcased local talent (dance, hip hop, and spoken word), the Agape Choir, and Afro-Cuban rhythms. A wonderful time was had by all, as we united to celebrate heritage, community, pride, and wellness. This celebration of culture was also aimed at decreasing neighborhood drug-related activity and inspiring long-term positive transformation. *photos by Gary John

The Women from Stepping Stones acknowledged Black History Month by joining the celebration at Kenneth Hahn Hall in Los Angeles on February 26, 2015.


Emergency Certification

Touchstones long time Counselor Eddie Eien recently received his CERT Certification. CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) are first responders who provide fire and medical services after a major disaster, as police and fire fighters may not be able to meet all the demand for these services. Factors such as number of victims, communication failures and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment's notice through 911. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life-saving and life-sustaining needs. The Community Emergency Response Team concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens and private and government employees. SMRS is pleased to add Eddie to our list of staff certified in this important skill.

Through a Child’s Eyes: Understanding Addiction and Recovery

It was a great honor to welcome Mr. Jerry Moe to the recent All-Staff meeting at the Brea Community Center. Jerry is the National Director of Children’s Programs at the Betty Ford Center at Rancho Mirage, California.  An Advisory Board Member of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), he is also an author, lecturer, and trainer on issues for children and families hurt by addiction.  Jerry’s sincere love and dedication for the young individuals he serves poured out into his lecture and flowed through his presentation, allowing SMRS staff to gain a greater insight and knowledge into the hearts and lives of those also affected by the disease of addiction…the children of alcoholics and addicts.  To learn more about working with children affected by addiction, call 877.507.6242.