FINALIST: Mariners Inn's peer mentoring program saves money, supports both parties
By Sherri Welch
Mariners Inn is looking to a peer coaching program to lower the costs of supporting recovering addicts, enabling it to support more people.
The Detroit-based nonprofit, which operates in the Cass Corridor area under the direction of CEO David Sampson, launched its Peer Recovery Mentoring Program in August on the strength of a $30,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
Mariners, which reported total revenue of $2.4 million for fiscal 2010 and an excess of nearly $300,000, secured a state designation for its peer recovery/support service program in December 2010.
That designation makes it eligible for local, state and federal funding for those services.
The program has since leveraged a $3,500 grant from the MGM Foundation and is helping Mariners Inn free up revenue by tapping people who've recovered from their addictions to serve as recovery coaches, supporting individuals who are reintegrating into the community following substance abuse treatment.
The recovery coaches, many of them alumni of Mariners Inn, go through formal training that covers topics including ethics, cultural competency, crisis management, personal safety and the stages of recovery.
The opportunity to coach others in their recovery and to earn money provides further stabilization to Mariners Inn's alumni, while helping newly recovering addicts to ward off relapse.
Mariners Inn began training about 10 coaches in August. They will work one-on-one with people who are ready to leave Mariners' inpatient program.
The Peer Recovery Mentoring Program decreases the cost of providing counseling to recovering addicts by 75 percent.
It costs $2,100 for Mariners to provide one person with counseling, meals, transportation, support groups, prescriptions and shelter. But a recovery coach can provide outpatient support and services for just $520 per month.
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