Through comprehensive services, Recovery Network of Programs creates a pathway to recovery, health, and happiness for individuals struggling with addiction and individuals experiencing homelessness. Big Y supported this nonprofit organization through its Community Bag Program.
Tell us about Recovery Network of Programs.
Recovery Network of Programs has been serving the greater Bridgeport area for over 50 years. In 1970, a small group of concerned Bridgeport residents got together to discuss the needs they were seeing in their community of individuals experiencing homelessness and individuals struggling with addiction. This group worked together to open our first outpatient clinic on Golden Hill Street in 1970 and in 1972 we became incorporated. We then later opened our emergency shelter at Prospect House. Both programs were the first of their kind to provide housing and treatment in Bridgeport. Today, we continue to ask the same questions as our founders: “How can we help? How can we create change?” Our mission is to provide comprehensive care and expert recovery services to any individual or family to restore hope, health, and healing. We are committed to empowering those in need to get the compassionate and personalized support they deserve, all while creating impactful change in our community.
We are committed to empowering those in need to get the compassionate and personalized support they deserve, all while creating impactful change in our community.
What services do you provide to the community?
We have various programs that provide outpatient care, inpatient treatment, and emergency, supportive, and transitional housing services. We make it easy for someone who may start in our withdrawal management facility to access our residential programs before transitioning to outpatient where they can get connected to medication assisted treatment, counseling, and more. We know that treatment is just one piece of the puzzle, so we also have re-entry programs for the formally incarcerated, outreach efforts to provide basic needs and harm reduction, and partnerships with primary care providers.
What sets Recovery Network of Programs apart from other nonprofits in your community?
What sets us apart is that we have such a large continuum of care. There’s really no level of treatment that we don’t provide. Recovery Network of Programs is one of the only agencies to have as many comprehensive programs and avenues for recovery as we do.
Tell us a story that illustrates the good work of your organization.
We always need Bigs, or mentors, and constantly find that we need more men than women. So, this year, to celeAs an agency, we are always trying to grow and change based on the needs of vulnerable populations around us. One of our most recent programs started from the identified need of law enforcement to have clinical support when responding to crisis calls for individuals struggling with substance abuse and mental health. As we know, these are very delicate situations where individuals, who are already dealing with so much, are often scared. We found that law enforcement often didn’t have the right tools to handle those situations and saw a need to partner in that way.
As an agency, we are always trying to grow and change based on the needs of vulnerable populations around us.
Now, we have social workers embedded in several police departments throughout Connecticut who go with law enforcement and respond to these crisis calls to de-escalate and to be the compassionate, human element in these frightening situations. We also follow up with these individuals to continue getting them care and help their families throughout the process. We stay involved and aim to put them on a better path than they would’ve been on if they had just been approached and arrested. This program has become the standard model for this type of work and has made a significant impact, even in its short life. It really paints a clear picture of who we are and what we’re always trying to do.
What is your most outstanding achievement or contribution to the community?
Honestly, we’re most proud of our longevity because it is a true testament to the quality of care we provide. The fact that people know us and trust us is our most outstanding achievement. We’ve had clients go through our programs who have later referred family members and friends or even become donors and supporters. Some of our alumni are now working at RNP in peer support roles, which is such an amazing full circle moment and so valuable to us and our clients. We’ve also been an integral part of many initiatives in our neighborhoods and communities throughout the years, always advocating for those in need.
The fact that people know us and trust us is our most outstanding achievement.
What do you want people to know about Recovery Network of Programs?
We are experts in our field and take what we do very seriously. No matter what, we are here to serve. We want to provide the best comprehensive care that we possibly can. There’s no wrong door at Recovery Network of Programs. If you’re someone who doesn’t know where to start and you walk into one of our programs, but it isn’t the service you need at that time, we will connect you to the right place. We are all about helping that person and meeting them where they’re at.
How will you use the funds you’ve received from the Big Y Community Bag Program?
We use these funds in various ways. Sometimes, we put them towards scholarships for clients struggling with insurance or needing financial support to get their foot in the door. Other times, we will put it towards the basic needs of our programs and the items that clients need when they come in. Our outreach team is always looking for funds to replenish the supplies they use and give away to homeless individuals. We really allocate funds to wherever we see the biggest need. As a nonprofit, it’s always welcome, and it will always be used.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
We have been a Hearst Media Top Workplace for a few years now, which we’re very proud of. Not only are we recognized for the work we do and the clients we serve, but also for our agency culture and how it’s a great place to work. And if you’re someone who wants to make a change in a positive way and you love this work, then this is the place to be.
The work is rewarding. It’s challenging. It’s uplifting. It’s all of the things that go into trying to do the best you can every day to help someone find recovery, health and happiness.
A lot of people know they want to help but don’t know where to get started. Or they may be going to school, and they’re not sure where to look after. We like to say that we have no wrong door for employees as well. The work is rewarding. It’s challenging. It’s uplifting. It’s all of the things that go into trying to do the best you can every day to help someone find recovery, health and happiness.
Interview with Danielle Levesque, Director of Recovery Coach Services
Published February 12, 2024.