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May 13, 2014

CARE shows success is more than just a name

By Nick Mordowanec
C & G Staff Writer

FRASER — CARE of Southeastern Michigan recently released statistics that display the positive influence the organization is having in the surrounding community.

The latest report examined data for the organization’s various programs and services from Oct. 1, 2012, to Sept. 30, 2013, which is the fiscal schedule. Most of CARE’s grants and contracts also run on a fiscal year timeline, as well.

CARE, located in Fraser, served a little more than 25,000 people during that fiscal year, in a variety of ways. Some people were treated for eight months for intensive services and some took part in parenting classes, among a slew of other aspects CARE offers.

Monique Stanton is the president and CEO of CARE’s Leadership Team. She described the latest report as a good one, with highlights including the completion of the first full year of the peer recovery coaching program.

The program involves newly-entered individuals in substance abuse treatment who are connected with someone in long-term recovery. Ninety-one percent of the people who were surveyed and participated in the program reported an improvement in their alcohol or drug use.

Expansion of the peer recovery coaching program is on the horizon, too, according to Stanton.

“We look at data after the completion of different series, but it continues to look good,” Stanton said. “One of the things we did last year was a self-sufficiency matrix with the peer recovery coach program, and (we) implemented it across all our services and programs so we would have excellent data.

“This tool looks at 19 aspects of an individual’s life, and each person rates themselves on a scale of 1-5, and we develop plans with the participant to improve some of those areas that include legal, employment, food, income, transportation, etc.”

Stanton said that all programs are having a positive effect on different people, including younger individuals who participated in the “life skills” program — 82 percent of whom said “no” to marijuana.

Other statistics from the report included: 671 parent education and adult class participants; 5,762 youth program attendees; 424 prisoner reentry clients; 3,817 substance abuse screenings, assessments and evaluations; and 6,189 information and referral calls.

Stanton said that like other nonprofit organizations, funding is always a challenge. CARE has multiple funding sources, including about 50 percent of funds donated from the Macomb County Office of Substance Abuse. The United Way of Southeast Michigan, individual support and business support are also integral to keeping services running smoothly.

She added that there has been some uncertainty the last two years in terms of where money will be derived. Some programs won’t know until the last minute if the money is there, and it’s a process Stanton calls very disruptive to the community, staff and volunteers.

But beyond finances, having the focus on the families and the individuals has led to the success of the organization, all in part to everyone working together in a competent manner to achieve positive outcomes.

“When we really take a look at our evaluation component of our programming, all of our programs are truly making an impact,” Stanton said. “When you see people moving from a crisis level to a more self-sufficient level, it’s a pure success.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Nick Mordowanec at nmordowanec@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1118.