September was quite a busy month for the Sojourner House team as we joined forces with fellow organizations across the Pittsburgh community and participated in a number of Recovery Month events.
Recovery Month is an important annual observance to Sojourner House and is a wonderful opportunity for us to focus on community outreach. In partnering with organizations and community members, teams across our city and county worked together to share resources and information with those who need help and support in recovery.
The Significance of Recovery Month
For 34 years, health and wellness organizations have used National Recovery Month (or Recovery Month) as a time to:
- Promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices
- Celebrate the nation’s recovery community
- Recognize the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery possible
Recovery Month is also a time when we can reinforce the message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, that treatment is effective, and that people can and do recover.
A Month of Outreach for Sojourner House
Like other organizations that focus on wellness and recovery, Sojourner House organized and participated in events focused on helping people in our community access the resources and support they need. The following list details some of the events we attended in 2023:
- August 31st: Overdose Awareness Day at The City County Building. In observance of Overdose Awareness Day, dozens of local organizations, officials, and residents gathered at the City-County Building on the afternoon of August 31st. We were pleased to join other local organizations in tabling at the event, helping people connect to resources and additional information on overdoses and substance use disorders.
- September 9th: Za’kyhia House’s Resource Fair. The mission of Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Za’kiyah House is to reduce homelessness, recidivism, and addiction by building caring relationships, offering holistic community support, and providing the necessary tools to empower individuals to find freedom from substances. We participated in their Recovery Fair to help connect people to Sojourner House’s resources and oversee educational activities for participating community members.
- September 12th: P.E.O. Sisterhood’s Philanthropic Event. The P.E.O. Sisterhood (Philanthropic Educational Organization) is a U.S.-based international women’s organization of about 230,000 members. It was our pleasure to participate in their local chapter’s philanthropic event in Bethel Park this September, ensuring that information about recovery resources was shared with community members beyond the City of Pittsburgh and throughout Allegheny County.
- September 16th: The Recovery Walk. The Pittsburgh Recovery Walk is a wonderful annual event with three primary goals: to celebrate recovery and recovery support systems, to eliminate the stigma associated with substance abuse, and to showcase resources available in our region. Over 80 community groups, including Sojourner House, gathered to celebrate recovery and support individuals and families impacted by substance use.
- September 21st: Familylinks’ Recovery Day. Each year, the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Familylinks hosts a Recovery Day event to celebrate individuals in recovery and the families who support them. Their event is always open to the public and family-friendly, featuring on-site access to essential resources for those who are in recovery or ready to start their recovery journey. It was our pleasure to join Familylinks and other social and human service organizations for an event focused on sharing detailed information, screenings, links to benefits, and free private assessments.
- September 22nd: Sojourner House’s Yoga In The Streets. Sojourner House also hosted our annual Recovery Month event in September! 2023 marked our 2nd year of hosting “Yoga in the Streets” – a community outreach event focused on providing options for mindfulness and self-care in the community. In addition to hosting a resource fair, our event promotes mindfulness via yoga classes. We understand very well that substance abuse affects mind and body alike; because of this, mindful health practices (in combination with therapy and care) can make a drastic long-term difference for those in recovery and who have achieved sobriety. Yoga in the Streets attendees, therefore, leave with a range of resources and health practices that they can share and benefit from in the future.
- Sept. 27th: Allegheny County DHS’ Lunch and Learn Day of Celebration. The Allegheny County DHS is dedicated to connecting people in need with programs and services focused on helping people navigate various situations and difficulties. The county DHS also engages in several yearly efforts to raise awareness around human services-related issues. It was Sojourner House’s pleasure to assist their team with one such day of education and awareness during this Recovery Month.
- Sept. 30th: Unity Recovery’s Resource Fair. Unity Recovery was founded to be an inclusive recovery community organization and community center for everyone. They offer non-clinical, peer-based recovery support services, which aim to support individuals and family members on their paths of recovery. The Pittsburgh Recovery Community Center (RCC) employs a range of non-clinical peer recovery support specialists to provide individual, family member, and loved one recovery support services, community education and training, and a 7 day a week drop-in health and wellness center. Attending their Resource Fair was a fantastic way to conclude a month of outreach work.
Work Continues After Recovery Month
As you can see, we focused heavily on community outreach throughout September. Outreach is a crucial part of the work we do every day. Events like this allow us to spread the word about our programs for those who need them and share resources with members of the public. Outreach also allows us to share the vision of Sojourner House and Sojourner House MOMS and to let the public know that our organization is here to help families build a brighter future.
Recovery Month might have concluded, but our work will continue in the coming months. Outreach, in turn, helps us provide treatment, housing, and support to heal families from trauma, rebuild relationships, and live a substance-free life. Our efforts and support from our supporters and the community ensure that we can continue helping mothers and their families through recovery.