3rd "Heroin to Hope" event Draws Attention to Opioid Problem, Lakewood's Project SOAR | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

3rd “Heroin to Hope” event Draws Attention to Opioid Problem, Lakewood’s Project SOAR

April 12, 2018

On Tuesday, April 17th, the City of Lakewood will host its 3rd Heroin to Hope event at Lakewood United Methodist Church.  Heroin to Hope is a community event promoting education and awareness of the opioid crisis in Lakewood and nationwide.  This event’s goal is to ensure community members are aware of and linked to local resources. Heroin to Hope celebrates facing addiction together as a community with the belief that recovery is possible for everyone. The evening includes a large scale resource room, community conversation, Project DAWN Naloxone kit training & distribution and, new this year, a family support discussion.  A prescription drug drop box is also available for attendees to safely dispose of any unwanted or unused prescription medications.

Importantly, this year’s Heroin to Hope event will feature the public unveiling of the City of Lakewood’s Project SOAR.  Project SOAR (supporting opioid addiction recovery) is a collaborative community response to the opioid crisis in the City of Lakewood. Partnerships for this event are made possible through the support of community stakeholders, the Cuyahoga County Opiate Task Force and the Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County.  Lakewood United Methodist Church has been a strong partner and champion when it comes to facing addiction in our community and they have been a gracious host of Heroin to Hope as well as other community events of this kind.

Project SOAR’s partners are the City of Lakewood (Mayor’s Office, Human Services, Police, Fire), the Cleveland Clinic Lakewood Emergency Department, the Woodrow Project, and the Cuyahoga County ADAMHS Board.

“Innovative approaches to challenging problems are what we should be doing,” said Mayor Mike Summers.  “Project Soar epitomizes innovation, compassion and grass roots efforts.”

Erin Helms, executive director of the Woodrow Project, a housing provider for women in recovery, said of Project SOAR, “We are seeing success and more importantly the value of collaboration between the City of Lakewood’s first responders and the Cleveland Clinic’s Lakewood Emergency Department. These partners have elevated the presence of peer support and have allowed the opportunity for residents and patients to access this form of recovery support that we believe is powerful and life changing.”

Katie Kurtz, Clinical Manager of Human Services for the City of Lakewood and the Project Coordinator of Project SOAR, said, “Project SOAR has created an opportunity for government, health care and recovery services to come together in an innovative way to face addiction together in our community.  Through this kind of collaboration, we are able to work together to reduce the stigma and sending a unified message that recovery is possible.”

Gina Bonaminio, peer support coordinator for Project SOAR and the Woodrow Project, said, “In the recovery world we call it terminal uniqueness,” she says. “When we’re in the throes of our addiction we really think there’s nobody out there who understands what we’re going through and who can help us with anything, be that recovery or anything in life.” When people who share the same experience come together, it breaks down those barriers, she says. “When somebody like me gets into that room in the emergency department, it can save someone’s life.”

Heroin to Hope Agenda

Resource Room—6:00pm to 7:00pm and then reopens 8:00pm to 9:00pm (downstairs)
Community Conversation—7:00pm to 8:00pm (sanctuary) which will include a special ADAMHS Board Honor to Lakewood First Responders
Project DAWN—8:00pm to 9:00pm (sanctuary)
Family Support Discussion—8:00pm to 9:00pm (family room downstairs)

Heroin to Hope Speakers

  • Cindy Marx, Moderator and former Lakewood City Councilwoman
  • Erin  Helms, Executive Director or the Woodrow Project
  • Gina Bonaminio, Peer Support Coordinator at the Woodrow Project and Project SOAR
  • Lakewood Police (waiting on names)
  • Lakewood Fire/EMS (waiting on names)
  • Dr. Judy Welsh, Director of the Emergency Department at Cleveland Clinic Lakewood
  • Katie Kurtz, Clinical Manager of Human Services for the City of Lakewood and the Project Coordinator of Project SOAR
  • Derrick Kirklen, ADAMHS Board

Resource Room

The large scale resource room will be open from 6:00pm until 7:00pm and again after the community conversation concludes at 8:00pm. Over 30 organizations and groups will be represented, including the following:

  • Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County
  • Alliant Treatment Center
  • Allie’s Angels
  • AR Sober Housing LLC
  • Care Alliance Health Center
  • Child & Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County
  • Collaborative to End Human Trafficking
  • GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing)
  • Highland Springs Center
  • Hospice of the Western Reserve
  • HUGS Foundation
  • Lean In Recovery Center & The River IOP
  • Lifebanc
  • MetroHealth Project DAWN
  • North Coast Health
  • OhioGuidestone
  • Reining Hope
  • Rising Hope (Y-Haven YMCA)
  • Southwest General – Oakview Behavioral Health
  • The Beaten Path
  • The Centers- El Barrio Workforce Development Center
  • United Way of Greater Cleveland 2-1-1
  • Westshore Young Leaders/WEB
  • Windsor Laurelwood
  • Women’s Recovery Center
  • Northeast Ohio Recovery Residence Network
  • Drug Awareness and Prevention, Inc.
  • Recovery Resources

Community Conversation

This year’s community conversation will focus on the newly launched, Project SOAR (Supporting Opioid Addiction Recovery) that is a collaborative pilot program with the City of Lakewood, ADAMHS Board, Woodrow Project and Cleveland Clinic Emergency Department.  Former City Council Woman Cindy Marx will be moderating the discussion that will focus on introducing this innovative, peer support centered program to the community, sharing where it is at currently and where it hopes to go.

After the conversation, a brief presentation, led by the ADAMHS Board, will honor Lakewood first responders and show appreciation for the work being done with the opioid crisis.

MetroHealth’s Project DAWN Naloxone Kit Training & Distribution

Project DAWN is an opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) program. Program participants are educated on the risk factors of opioid overdose, how to recognize an opioid overdose, and how to respond to an opioid overdose by calling 911, giving rescue breaths, and administering nasal naloxone. Eligible participants are given FREE naloxone kits containing two vials of naloxone hydrochloride medication.

*The first community Project DAWN training was held at the first Heroin To Hope event in 2015

Family Support Discussion

Project SOAR wants to ensure that all Lakewood families know they are not alone. Help us identify the needs and wants of families facing addiction in our community. Join us as we look to connect with family members + friends of individuals struggling with addiction to start talking and taking action on making support and advocacy accessible to all Lakewood residents. The City of Lakewood is coming together with community partners to create education, support opportunities and resources for residents facing addict