Utah’s recovery community joined together Saturday to provide resources to those experiencing homelessness and addiction.
In all, 26 organizations were involved. The event was organized by Amy Daeschel. Her connection is personal.
“I wanted to giveback to the community that held me up when I was down,” she said. “I was homeless myself two years ago. I was part of Operation Rio Grande. I was the first sweep.”
Now in recovery, Daeschel uses her experience to help others follow in her footsteps.
“We got every organization together,” said Daeschel. “United as one.”
As one, organizations handed out winter clothing, provided haircuts, free food, hygiene items as well as Naloxone kits and offered a syringe exchange for anyone dealing with addiction.
“There’s support out there if they’re looking to not be homeless anymore, or if they’re looking for treatment resources,” Rachael Pioltini, Director of Addicted We Stand.
“We’re all battling this together,” said Ashanti Moritz, the Outreach Director of Warrior Spirit Recovery Community. “We’re on the same team. One of my biggest dreams is that we can create a space. In that space, no one is left behind.”
Also on hand for Saturday’s event, a representative from the University of Utah’s newly launched Bridge Program.
“This was really well needed because people don’t know how to access treatment,” said Paula Cook, an Addiction Medicine Physician at the University of Utah. “They either don’t know where to go, or they don’t have insurance.”
The effort was appreciated by those who attended.
“When you say community, community should mean community,” said Laurel McKenzie, who is homeless. “Everybody should help everybody out. No matter what situation they’re in.”
The message of Saturday’s event was with the right resources, long-term recovery is possible for anyone.