Recent News

Thanksgiving dinner baskets to provide meals for...

Following a tradition of the last 15 years, the staff of El Monte Superior Court put together Thanksgiving dinner baskets to provide meals for families in need in the Mid Valley Outpatient COURT Program. The participants receiving the food were very grateful to be the recipients of the baskets and to know that people do care. One participant stated “that if it wasn’t for this program and the opportunity to change lives, many addicts wouldn’t get to be spending Thanksgiving with their families, and for that alone many should be grateful.”

And Natures brings down a local legend.

The fury of the 85 mph winds on the last night of November, brought down one of our few, precious skid row trees. This was certainly one of our older trees as evidenced by its thickly inter-twined branches and large trunk, not to mention the enormous shade it provided to community members as well as local drug dealers. They say “around a flowering tree, one finds many insects”.  Here we found that and more with this fallen member of the community. It is a bittersweet moment as this great giant’s shade hugged our hearts and fed our lungs. Thank you for the cool shade and happy days. We will miss you.

Annual Harvest Fest

River Community participants and staff were proud to host our "Annual Harvest Fest" on November 22. This is our annual open house event for our program and this year we are pleased to report a fantastic turnout. This year’s event was larger than previous years thanks to the attendance of the newly merged programs that came over from Mid Valley Recovery Services. The event was an opportunity for residents, alumni, staff, guests, family members, and participants from all Social Model Recovery Systems programs to come together in fellowship and the spirit of the season.  For many who have worked for the Agency for so long, it was a moment of joy and celebration to see so many of those served over past years doing so well.  It was also a great way of showcasing our program's facility, operations and quality of care that we offer.  For so many, this was their first glance at River Community and the feedback was fantastic. The tranquil surroundings and orderly grounds always make a good impression. If that wasn't enough, the feast was a way for generations of those affected by and recovering from addiction and mental health issues to come together and break bread.

Seeing the merger between Mid Valley Recovery...

… from Omni Center staff member, Terry Ung

It has been just over four months since the much anticipated merger between Mid Valley Recovery Services and Social Model Recovery Systems and so much has transpired in the ensuing weeks. We, the Mid Valley folks, have been welcomed into the Social Model family with open arms. We are training and sharing knowledge with each other and jointly formulating plans and programs to better provide communities and individuals with a viable resource to prevent and control substance abuse and mental health related problems. We have embarked on a new and extremely promising journey. This journey is one where regularly structured training, continuing education and highly rewarding interactive multi-program meetings are combining to light the way.

Providing quality and well rounded care and promoting spiritual, physical and mental wellness are at the forefront of our mission; seeking diversified treatment plans are a major component of that mission. Equally important is the influx of enjoyable group and family activities. The softball games between participants of all programs have become a much anticipated event for residents as well as staff. This summer, agency staff members, participants and their families, were all invited to a picnic at Farnsworth Park in Pasadena. The usual food, fun and games ensued. It was a chance for all to relax and enjoy a day of fun in a totally different environment. On November 5, the Mid Valley programs were honored to participate in Social Model’s 25th Anniversary Fundraiser at the Shilo Inn in Pomona, with considerable input and planning from our own Andrew, Garett, Melanie, and Monique. The evening was filled with the ‘giving’ spirit, as we all shared in the good food and entertainment. We were witnesses to testimonials about recovery from participants that truly stole the show, not to mention that the fundraising was quite successful. While in this business it’s never enough because of the overwhelming need, the contributions received will certainly give us a boost in providing help to those in need.

The Omni Center’s chef, Rene Avila, once again put on a magnificent feast for residents, their families and staffers to celebrate Thanksgiving. Eight turkeys, five hams and tons of fixin’s later, everyone relaxed and embraced the meaning of the day.

As the calendar year winds down, it is time to reflect on our past accomplishments, share memories and caring thoughts with family and one another, and look with excitement and eager anticipation of the coming year with a renewed energy and focus.

Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost. – Helen Keller

Touchstones celebrate our Family with...

Touchstones celebrated our Family Thanksgiving Dinner with Turkey, mashed potatoes and all the fixings as well as many, many desserts provided by  parents grateful for their child’s opportunity to learn a new and productive way of life free of the use of alcohol and other drugs. Residents and their families enjoyed the meal and fellowship sharing their joys and hopes for the holiday season. One 17-year old male who has struggled with his addiction and was in Juvenile Hall last year for the holiday season was overheard telling his mother, “I just never thought I deserved anything good. If I started to be successful, I just felt as though I had to mess it up. I think knowing that is going to help me a lot.”

Dia De Los Muertos

River Community Covina participants Alicia B. and Michael H. facilitated this month’s Cultural Awareness group. They presented a beautiful PowerPoint on “Dia De Los Muertos” and spoke of its history and the traditions associated with it.  They did a fabulous job; their peers and staff enjoyed the day.



Grandma, you be the black Ninja and I'll be...

"Grandma, you be the black Ninja and I'll be the red Ninja" was Touchstones Program Director Patti Ochoa's four year old grandson's request. He was thrilled when she came to his pre-school halloween Party/Parade as a black Ninja. "Can my grandma be with me in the parade?", he asked his teacher and she proudly paraded - the only non-teacher adult with 100 pre-schoolers.  Residents at Touchstones are shown by the actions of the Treatment Team, on a daily basis, that the happiest, most productive moments in our lives, are the times we are doing what will make someone else happy, what will add to their life rather then being self absorbed and self involved in the world of drugs and unhealthy life choices.

Touchstones residents and staff celebrated Halloween with photo opportunities and pumpkin carving fun (some traditional and some not so traditional). Pumpkins were anonymously judged by staff and the carvers of the top three jack-o-lanterns joined the Program Director for lunch at a restaurant of their choice.