Recent News

Recent Graduate visited Touchstones while home...

James Napoles recently visited Touchstones while home for Christmas break from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. James successfully completed treatment and “Coined Out” at Touchstones on October 15, 2009. James shared his experience, strength and hope with current residents. He talked of some of the challenges of being a sober male in a university and how he has been able to use the strategies he learned as a resident at Touchstones to hold him in good stead and serve as a role model for his peers at the university, which was founded in 1884 with 22 students. James talked with Touchstones Program Director, Patti Ochoa, of the growth and changes of Haskell over the 127 years it has been serving men and women from federally recognized tribes from across the United States. James will spend the holidays with his father on the reservation in Bishop, California, and return to school after the holidays.

Project T.O.U.C.H.” (Trust, Outreach,...

River Community Covina and Wellness Center Programs are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant from the Rose Hills Foundation. The funds will be used for “Project T.O.U.C.H.” (Trust, Outreach, Understanding, Change, and Hope) which will allow the programs to provide services for indigent participants who otherwise may not be able to afford treatment. This is truly a great holiday season for the Agency.

Out of Loss comes Recovery...

Jennifer R. and Daniel N. entered Mid Valley Outpatient on May 2, 2011, after losing their daughter to DCFS, and successfully completed treatment this week. Jennifer and Daniel participated in weekly substance abuse groups and parenting classes and also developed a sober support system in the community. Jennifer recently began working at the Los Angeles Mission downtown, and Daniel is actively looking for work in the substance abuse treatment field. The couple also recently purchased a car and moved into their own apartment. Best of all, they regained custody of their daughter, Adriana.

In acknowledging Mid Valley, Jennifer said, “The opportunities at Mid Valley made the difference in successfully regaining custody of my daughter and putting my life back together. I don’t know if I would have been able to do this without their support.”

Thanksgiving dinner baskets to provide meals for...

Following a tradition of the last 15 years, the staff of El Monte Superior Court put together Thanksgiving dinner baskets to provide meals for families in need in the Mid Valley Outpatient COURT Program. The participants receiving the food were very grateful to be the recipients of the baskets and to know that people do care. One participant stated “that if it wasn’t for this program and the opportunity to change lives, many addicts wouldn’t get to be spending Thanksgiving with their families, and for that alone many should be grateful.”

And Natures brings down a local legend.

The fury of the 85 mph winds on the last night of November, brought down one of our few, precious skid row trees. This was certainly one of our older trees as evidenced by its thickly inter-twined branches and large trunk, not to mention the enormous shade it provided to community members as well as local drug dealers. They say “around a flowering tree, one finds many insects”.  Here we found that and more with this fallen member of the community. It is a bittersweet moment as this great giant’s shade hugged our hearts and fed our lungs. Thank you for the cool shade and happy days. We will miss you.

Annual Harvest Fest

River Community participants and staff were proud to host our "Annual Harvest Fest" on November 22. This is our annual open house event for our program and this year we are pleased to report a fantastic turnout. This year’s event was larger than previous years thanks to the attendance of the newly merged programs that came over from Mid Valley Recovery Services. The event was an opportunity for residents, alumni, staff, guests, family members, and participants from all Social Model Recovery Systems programs to come together in fellowship and the spirit of the season.  For many who have worked for the Agency for so long, it was a moment of joy and celebration to see so many of those served over past years doing so well.  It was also a great way of showcasing our program's facility, operations and quality of care that we offer.  For so many, this was their first glance at River Community and the feedback was fantastic. The tranquil surroundings and orderly grounds always make a good impression. If that wasn't enough, the feast was a way for generations of those affected by and recovering from addiction and mental health issues to come together and break bread.

Seeing the merger between Mid Valley Recovery...

… from Omni Center staff member, Terry Ung

It has been just over four months since the much anticipated merger between Mid Valley Recovery Services and Social Model Recovery Systems and so much has transpired in the ensuing weeks. We, the Mid Valley folks, have been welcomed into the Social Model family with open arms. We are training and sharing knowledge with each other and jointly formulating plans and programs to better provide communities and individuals with a viable resource to prevent and control substance abuse and mental health related problems. We have embarked on a new and extremely promising journey. This journey is one where regularly structured training, continuing education and highly rewarding interactive multi-program meetings are combining to light the way.

Providing quality and well rounded care and promoting spiritual, physical and mental wellness are at the forefront of our mission; seeking diversified treatment plans are a major component of that mission. Equally important is the influx of enjoyable group and family activities. The softball games between participants of all programs have become a much anticipated event for residents as well as staff. This summer, agency staff members, participants and their families, were all invited to a picnic at Farnsworth Park in Pasadena. The usual food, fun and games ensued. It was a chance for all to relax and enjoy a day of fun in a totally different environment. On November 5, the Mid Valley programs were honored to participate in Social Model’s 25th Anniversary Fundraiser at the Shilo Inn in Pomona, with considerable input and planning from our own Andrew, Garett, Melanie, and Monique. The evening was filled with the ‘giving’ spirit, as we all shared in the good food and entertainment. We were witnesses to testimonials about recovery from participants that truly stole the show, not to mention that the fundraising was quite successful. While in this business it’s never enough because of the overwhelming need, the contributions received will certainly give us a boost in providing help to those in need.

The Omni Center’s chef, Rene Avila, once again put on a magnificent feast for residents, their families and staffers to celebrate Thanksgiving. Eight turkeys, five hams and tons of fixin’s later, everyone relaxed and embraced the meaning of the day.

As the calendar year winds down, it is time to reflect on our past accomplishments, share memories and caring thoughts with family and one another, and look with excitement and eager anticipation of the coming year with a renewed energy and focus.

Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost. – Helen Keller