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An Update from our Executive Director on Two Years After COVID

Dear Friend of Recovery Café,

Two years ago on March 17th 2020, we closed both Café sites as gathering places. I distinctly remember how discouraged I felt that day for our community and what the future held.  I am grateful to share today some of our response.

We pivoted Recovery Support to teleconnection; here are some stats since then: 
– Total attempts to contact Members 1:1 for Teleconnection: 9,008
– Completed 1:1 Teleconnection check-ins: 4,793
– Hours of 1:1 Teleconnection check-ins: 941
– We also stood up a to-go meal program that has operated every day since then and we have served more than 87,424 meals.  
– We have hosted hundreds of people at our Resource Connection Days; these have connected people with tangible things such as masks, food and clothing as well as desperately needed services including dental care, housing, behavioral health care and vaccines. 
– We supported the WA Listens Statewide effort and engaged in outreach at Evergreen Treatment Services, the Tiny House Villages, Denny Park and more. 
– The Recovery Café Network launched several cohorts and has grown to 36 Member sites! 

This are just some of all we were able to accomplish together. Thank you for being part of helping our community navigate such a difficult time. I am happy to report that both Café’s sites are re-open and have been operating for some time. While there is a lot of work to do, I am more hopeful than I have been in a long time about our capacity to serve the intense needs that exist. Every day we strive to meet people where they are at and to address their needs, and our work at the systemic level also continues.

I’d like to thank everyone who advocated to their Washington State elected officials to increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate to 7%. That has been approved. To be clear, our behavioral health care system, especially for our Medicaid population is still in absolute crisis. At least there is movement in the right direction. I am disappointed to share that the 10% SAMHSA block grant set aside for recovery support services that we had been working for in the federal budget (and asked for your help several newsletters ago) has not been included in the budget. While this doesn’t have an immediate impact for Washington State, it is a loss for the Recovery Movement and the Recovery Café Network across the country.

We will continue to serve those who come in our doors and to seek policies and investments that will make system-wide structural changes to benefit those in our community who are marginalized and in doing so, help us all. Of course we will always invite you to help us. Thank you for being on this journey with us.

With Gratitude,
David