Recent News

January 30, 2012

Two Touchstones residents completed all the requirements for High School graduation and received their diplomas on January 30, 2012. They were joined at their graduation ceremony by their families, friends in recovery and (in one boy’s case) his Probation Officer. “I can’t believe Mr. Kelly came. I guess it shows, if I am doing the right thing, Probation can be a positive in my life”. Shown with their teacher, Mr. Segal, both boys shared in their graduation talks that they would not have been able to graduate high school had they not made the choice to enter residential alcohol/other drug treatment at Touchstones. They talked of their addiction taking from them any desire to do well or even attend school. One boy talked of being suspended and expelled because of his drug use. Both boys struggled initially when they came to treatment but the consistency, structure and support of Touchstones held them in good stead as, a credit at a time, they met their educational goals. Orange Unified School District, through Richland High School, provides the teacher and curriculum for grades 9 – 12 at Touchstones. Education is an objective on each resident’s Treatment Plan and they attend school on the property daily from 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Mr. Segal, who has only been with the Touchstones school a short time, shared at the graduation ceremony his pride not only in the two boys who were graduating but in the entire class. Specific to the graduates, he shared of their creative sides - one who has artistic talents and one who has a love for poetry. He challenged them to continue their educational and artistic goals as clean and sober contributing men in society.

Social Model Recovery Systems celebrated our 25th...

Social Model Recovery Systems celebrated our 25th Anniversary and first annual “Pursuit of Wellness Gala” on November 5, 2011. Over 300 friends demonstrated their commitment to our efforts in attaining justice, equality and wellness for those we serve by contributing to and attending this event. Everyone had a great time, enjoyed dinner, bid on auction items, and relished in the live musical performances. Special recognition was given to SMRS founders, Chris Spencer, and the late Charles “Bud” Hayes, who laid the foundation upon which our organization has flourished. A heartfelt thank you goes to all those who attended and/or contributed to our special evening. Your support will assist us in providing much-needed services in carrying forth our mission to individuals and communities struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse issues.  Special awards were presented to Dr. James Barger, Board President, Betty Sandford, 25 year Board member and former Board President, and Chris Spencer, co-founder.

Our monthly Cultural Competency group on the...

River Community Covina participant Jeffery D. facilitated our monthly Cultural Competency group on the Chinese culture as a follow up to Chinese New Year. We developed a beautiful PowerPoint presentation that highlighted a New Year’s parade, the country’s rivers, skylines, and theatre, and Chinese field workers. To end the group Jeff, who is half Chinese and half Japanese, treated his peers and staff to sushi that he hand rolled right before their very eyes. Everyone LOVED it. Many thanks to Jeff who did a fine and thorough job.

The Director of Education & Training, is...

Director of Education & Training, Margo Edwards, works closely with the training support team, Lori Smith and Cecile Rodriguez to ensure that training participants receive their CEUs in a timely manner. Here they are seen discussing the recent changes to the pricing structure: training registration is required in advance and is done online – the new cost of online registration is $20.00. Participants who need to request their CEUs at a later date will now have to pay $40.00 for each certificate. The changes were announced in September and became effective October 1, 2011.
 

United Coalition East youth leaders were given...

United Coalition East youth leaders were given new bikes donated by the Adult Services Team of Social Model Recovery Systems. Our leadership program seeks to engage and empower youth to make positive changes in their lives as well as the neighborhood. This contribution was greatly appreciated as evidenced by the happy smiling faces. Thank you.

Resolutions Wall

Happy New Year!  River Community Covina and Wellness Center participants started off the new year by creating a “Resolutions Wall”. They listed some of their goals and displayed them proudly in the main group room. Some of the goals include “Exercise”, “Go to a Lakers game”, “Be sober”, “Finish school”, “Get my high school diploma”, and “Treating myself well”.  Well done, everyone!

River Community explored the rich cultural...

Recently, River Community explored the rich cultural heritage of Nepal. We were fortunate to have a Nepali participant who was able to explain to us the culture, traditions, lifestyles, celebrations, and activities that go on in Nepal. It was a truly eye opening event and authentic Nepali paintings and artwork were on hand to enrich the experience, brought by the participant's family. Much of the artwork is painted by women who have been widowed, abandoned by their husbands, or abused to the point of leaving their husbands. The art is their fundraising activity and a skill they can use to keep from starving to death. It was great to be a part of their organization, and several people did purchase the artwork. Lunch consisted of authentic Nepali food, including Samosas and lamb kebobs. Everyone had a great time and commented on how different Nepali life is from anything most had ever dreamt of.