Down the street or perhaps down the hall is a loved one struggling with substance misuse. Under the best of times, the journey toward recovery is marked with challenges and difficulty; add a pandemic and for many this journey becomes nearly impossible.

Enter Claudia Hamilton, Executive Director for Living Proof, and her dedicated team to the supportive rescue. At Living Proof, Romans can find the support and resources they need while they shelter-in-place. Hamilton explains, “Our community finds itself bombarded. We have this pandemic crisis amongst a huge opioid crisis.” She describes a decline in the number of interactions since COVID-19 “We typically have between 1,800-2,000 interactions with our peers, but now it is more like 1,200. We are still meeting face-to-face with our coaches, setting appointments, and talking on the phone. Last week we put together an outreach project to help the motel corridor on Martha Berry Blvd. We picked up needles, and distributed Narcan kits.”

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Claudia Hamilton

A big focus for Living Proof has been to help support the those that struggle with mental illness, “This is a greatly underserved community. Now with so many out of work, it is important to give these individuals help to stay on their normal medicine routine; so we began reimbursing them for their mental health medications.” says Hamilton.

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During the stay-at-home order the individuals in recovery hardest hit are those above the age 65. “Isolation – for recovery – is not a good place. We have had more individuals in this demographic call and set appointments, because they have returned to using. This trend has motivated us to revisit the high-rise apartments on North 5th and remind those individuals that we are here to support them during this stressful time.” explains Hamilton. For those who might be struggling with a lack of purpose while being out of work, Living Proof team members connect these peers with other organizations who focus on doing good for the community, such as feeding the homeless or organized river clean-ups.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, the caring team at Living Proof can help start the journey toward long term recovery through coaching, mentorship, peer support, as well as employment opportunities. To set an appointment, call 706-204-8710 or email livingproofga@gmail.com

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