Addiction recovery services and plans to expand’ – The Ukiah Daily Journal

As part of its speaker series, Avenues to Wellness, a program of the Frank R. Howard Foundations, hosted a talk titled “Ford Street Project: Addiction Recovery Services and Plans for Expansion,” which was delivered by Executive Director Jacqueline Williams. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the talk was recorded and posted on the Avenues to Wellness website, YouTube, and Vimeo.

Avenues to Wellness program manager Suzanne Picetti-Johnson introduced Williams, who has served as executive director of the Ford Street Project since 2010. Williams discussed the impact of addiction on the community, the services Ford Street provides, the efforts to collaboration that works well with community partners. as well as expansion plans.

Ford Street Project has a long history in the county, beginning in 1974. The organization currently has 35 staff and 19 food bank volunteers. They have three main areas of service. The first and largest program is recovery services. They operate a state-licensed residential treatment and withdrawal management recovery center in Ukiah. The center has low-cost stay beds for those who have completed the program and want to stay longer. Plus, they offer professional support.

The Ford Street project also operates what they call Unity Village, which can accommodate eight to 10 families. It’s also a sober living facility, Williams said, often housing reuniting families. She said: “It is more important when children are involved that we offer solutions to keep them in a safe and stable environment and that they are reunited with their parents as soon as possible.”

The organization operates the food bank located at 888 N. State St. in Ukiah. Williams said: “I’m so excited that the food we provide to the food bank is now fresh vegetables and fresh fruit.” She explained that they worked with the Redwood Food Bank, which she described as a wonderful organization, to make this a reality.

Williams spoke about the partnerships behind the Ford Street Project. Specifically, she spoke about Adventist health emergency physicians, whose alliance has become even more crucial during the Covid pandemic.

The organization has a long-standing relationship with local tribal elders. Williams said: “We rely on them to provide a weekly group at the recovery center and spiritual practice ceremonies at the sweat lodge on the weekends…I’m really proud and appreciate the relationship with the tribes; we learned so much from them.

For victims of domestic violence, Ford Street works closely with Project Sanctuary. Mary Anne Gould and her Adventist Health California Bridge program team connect individuals to additional services they may need. Williams said that when they started working with Gould, they immediately filled all the beds in their facility, and seeing the needs in the community, they began to consider an expansion.

In order to expand its services, the Ford Street Project must first expand its facilities. They currently have the capacity to serve 750 people per year; with expansion, Williams says that number will double. They will increase the number of beds available for people in withdrawal management and add two additional group rooms, as well as individual meeting spaces where those enrolled in the program can meet with their counsellor. The organization will apply for a state grant to fund the expansion. They will also seek a second source of funding. Williams is happy to extend its services to those in need, often with nowhere to go.

For more information, visit www.fordstreet.org or call (707) 462-1934.

Richard F. Gandhi