Recovery Center to make move to downtown Bridgton

MOVE ON HORIZON — Lakes Region Recovery Center announced plans to move to 2 Elm St. in downtown Bridgton sometime this autumn. Posing with a sign painted for the new space are (from left to right) LRRC Communication Specialist Candy Greenberg, Executive Director Tracey Martin and Founder and Chief Executive Officer Catherine Clough-Bell (De Busk Photo)

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

Every day, Lakes Region Recovery Center has a steady flow of people coming to the center for various activities. There are arts and crafts classes, journaling classes, detox acupuncture, peer support trainings, a games night plus AA meetings and NA meetings.

Every week, the calendar is full. On a weekly basis, plenty of people are participating in the things that are being offered.

The success of LRRC poses a problem: the drop-in center has outgrown the space it rents from the Bridgton Hospital.

This week, LRRC Communication Specialist Candy Greenberg announced the “exciting news” that the center will move from its space behind the hospital to a spot in downtown Bridgton. The exact timing for the move is uncertain, but it should happen this autumn, she said.

“This has been a wonderful space. For four years, we have rented this space from Bridgton Hospital. Unfortunately, we’ve outgrown the space and they are unable to accommodate us elsewhere on the campus. We definitely need more meeting rooms and more private offices for one-on-one counseling,” she said.

“Our new space is right in the middle of downtown Bridgton,” Greenberg said.

The address of the new location is: 2 Elm St. It’s a building with shingles across the street from the United States Post Office (USPO) in Bridgton, and a hop, skip and jump from Main Street.

“We will be much more visible in the community. We are hoping that because of this, the stigma associated with those in recovery, especially those people with Substance Use Disorder (SUD), will lessen,” Greenberg said.

“Being in this downtown location will allow us to say, ‘This is who we are. We are people in your community,’ ” she said. “We want to show what great neighbors we are. We are a great part of the community of Bridgton.”

MESSAGE ON CHALKBOARD — Lakes Region Recovery Center Executive Director Tracey Martin used chalk paint to put up a message in the center’s future space, located 2 Elm St. (De Busk Photo)

What is exactly is LRRC? The center is not a branch of the hospital.

LRRC is it own entity, created by a federal grant four years ago. A grant proposal was written, and the center started up in September 2018. It does not have a non-profit status nor does it have a for-profit status.

Therefore, the center does not charge anything for any of its services, according to Greenberg.

It is important to clarify that Lakes Region Recovery Center is not part of the Bridgton Hospital. However, the center has a vital relationship with the hospital, she said.

“We are still providing our recovery coaching services to the Emergency Department (ED) and the in-patient unit at BH.This program was started and we are very proud of,” she said. “We will present to the ED a couple times a week, and ask if there is anyone who could benefit from recovery services. The in-patient unit will call us when someone is open to recovery and willing to talk. We support the BH by showing up and just saying, ‘Is there anything we can do to help you?’ ”

The services will be the same only the response time will change slightly, she said.

“Where, right now, we can walk down there. It will be just a few more minutes when they call us,” Greenberg said.

LRRC Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Catherine Clough-Bell expressed her excitement about the location change and how it will benefit the local community as well as people visiting the area.

“What the move means for the recovery center is: Higher visibility. It means people who are interested in accessing the recovery center services, it will be easier for them to find the center,” she said. “Also, it’s on Explorer bus route so people who are from other towns and have heard about the center could come here.”

“Bridgeton is a large tourist town and there are many folks in recovery who attend different meetings. They will be able to find us much easier,” Clough-Bell said.

Greenberg talked about the new space, and how it will cure the growing pains the center has experienced. The entire ground floor will be dedicated to space for the center, she said.

“We will be able to have more than one meeting or project going on at the same time. We will have three meeting rooms for larger groups and three office spaces, where people can meet one-on-one. We are excited to offer even more classes and meetings to add to our already full schedule,” she said.

Again, with success, comes a challenge. The center will need to furnish the new space.

“We will gladly accept any and all donations to fill the empty rooms of the new center, especially gift cards to Lowes and Home Depot for the appliances to fit our new kitchen,” she said.

“We are so thrilled there is a kitchen in this space. That is something we have wanted for a long time. Many people have already donated kitchen items, furniture. The sink and the cabinetry is already there. We will be making it into a community kitchen,” she said.

“When we have a big kitchen, we will be able to have Thanksgiving dinners, chili cook-off contests, cooking classes, those kinds of things,” she said.

Already, staff have spent spare time cleaning and painting the future space.

“We’ve all been on board to paint and decorate, and move things, and really make the space a warm and safe environment for people,” she said.

To learn more about the Lakes Region Recovery Center, go to www.lrrcbridgeton.org. There is a calendar page listing all the events. Additionally, LRRC has an active and updated Facebook page.

Any individual or business that would like to donate furniture, funds, or gift cards from Lowes or Home Depot to help furnish the kitchen and rooms in the new space, please contact the center 207-803-8707 during regular business hours, Monday to Friday , 9 am to 5 pm

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