Recent News

Happy Anniversary, River Community!

What a difference a day makes! On this day (January 30) back in 1987, River Community had its first admission to the Agency’s first program. This was a huge milestone for the treatment of individuals who had co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, as River Community was the first residential program in the country to address these problems. For the folks who needed help (prior to River Community), the system would play ping pong, bouncing them back and forth from mental health clinics to substance abuse treatment services. They were told when they got one issue under control they would go and try to address the other one. Unfortunately, the two conditions magnified each other, and little help was realized. But as the result of a supportive staff and outside support, thousands of individuals have since been helped over the past 31 years.

We would like to thank the partnerships between multiple Los Angeles County departments, Bud Hayes, our first CEO, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and a Board of Directors who believed in our mission.

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Justin Womer

 

Justin Womer began his journey as a Chemical Dependency Intern about eight years ago at River Community. He was hired as a Relief Counselor and worked briefly as a Night Counselor before being hired on as a Primary Counselor. While there, he became intensely interested in working with co-occurring individuals and went to USC to pursue his Master's in Social Work, focusing in Mental Health and a sub-concentration in working with Active Duty Service Members and Veterans. In 2015, he was promoted to Program Director of River Community. After five years and the boundless support of mentors, supervisors and peers, Justin finally passed his State Clinical Examination, and after review by the Board of Behavioral Sciences, he was accorded his licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Congratulations, Justin! Well done!

 

CCERP’s Holiday Celebration

Staff, Coalition members and allies gathered to celebrate a year of victories, struggles and lessons learned. We recognized everyone’s hard work and leadership to improve Boyle Heights by sharing a dinner with fresh, made-to-order pupusas (El Salvador’s indigenous dish). There was a deep sense of friendship and gratitude as we closed the evening with prizes and certificates. Happy Holidays from the CCERP Team!

Omni Center Holiday Celebration

The holiday spirit was alive and well at the Omni Center. The celebration began with a heartfelt share by our program director, Monique. She acknowledged the struggles that are attributed to being away during the holidays. The emphasis of the message was heard and felt by all-- the greatest gift that we give to ourselves and our families is the gift of our recovery. The touching share was followed by a home-cooked meal and stockings full of gifts. Monique and Narissa had a smile from ear to ear as they served the delicious meal, and Resident Rudy was excited to see what Santa put in his stocking.

Christmas Caroling at Rio Honda Convalescent Home

Staff and residents of Mariposa went to Rio Hondo Convalescent in Montebello to sing Christmas carols to the elderly. We brought Christmas cheer to those that cannot get out or who have not had a visit from family. We walked through the halls of the home for those unable to get out of bed. We enjoyed seeing them sing and cry out of happiness.

Mariposa Holiday Party

Staff, residents, and family got together to celebrate the holidays at Mariposa. Everyone sang Christmas carols with hope that Santa would show, and, to our surprise, Santa appeared. Children were excited to take pictures with Santa and receive gifts from Santa's elves. This was an emotional experience for some of our residents, since this is their first Christmas clean. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and desserts, and then, staff, residents, and family fellowshipped.

Mariposa Staff Christmas Lunch

All staff went to Ordunez restaurant in Montebello to have a Christmas lunch. We celebrated everyone’s dedication and hard work at Mariposa. Staff played the White Elephant game and enjoyed each other’s company. Each person shared what their New Year’s resolution will be and what this year has brought them.