With great anticipation, Delray Beach awaits the opening of the Palm Beach County HUB hopefully towards the end of March 2021.  It will take place at 2158 West Atlantic Ave Suite 2120, Delray Beach, FL. The HUB opening is the culmination of much hard work, dedication, loss, sadness, and most of all hope. The grand opening of the RCC (Recovery Community Center) in Delray Beach is a dream come true for this community, and those members whose hard work have born the fruit of this new center that will operate and fulfill vital services for Palm Beach County. (“Granfield and Cloud” define recovery as the volume of internal and external assets to initiate and sustain recovery from severe alcohol or other drug problems. … In other words, recovery capital is the total resources that a person has available to find and maintain their recovery.”

The vision for the HUB arose out of a need within the community, and a group of community members who had a simple but necessary vision. That vision, born out of an intense desire that no one should be left behind in addressing substance abuse and mental health issues, and the reality that it takes a community to help one of its members. Let’s first consider why this is such a big deal for the recovery community of Palm Beach County.

Where is this Happening?

Delray Beach, FL, classically described as the “The Recovery Capital of America” was ascribed in 2007 by the New York Times as a result of a major influx of people coming to Florida for a fresh start and a new opportunity. The community of Delray Beach became the hotspot for treatment and sober living in the country. With West Palm Beach to the north and Fort Lauderdale to the south, a quiet and quaint beach town with an unassuming vacation air, Delray became the site where thousands of Americans would come to call home for the hope of a new life.

So, What’s Missing?

What’s missing is simply long-term sustainable recovery in natural or non-artificial environments. The treatment model has its place, and is often the start of a sane and sober lifestyle, but what happens after? Individuals are left with little to no recovery capital and no way to deal with “life on life’s terms.” At The HUB, we want to take back the word “recovery” that has been so grossly misused and abused, and reestablish it under the face of communities helping individual’s change and grow, and help that individual become active in their community in order to aid the next person that needs assistance.

What is an RCC?

A Recovery Community Center (RCC) overlaps with and is almost always married to a Recovery Community Organization (RCO). The Palm Beach County HUB functions as an RCC/RCO with the aim of offering help and hope to people affected by alcohol, drugs and behavioral health disorders. The HUB is a local resource by and for the community that supports people recovering from substance use and behavioral health disorders for the purpose of building and establishing higher recovery capital in real time and with real outcomes. The mission of The HUB is to increase community access to recovery resources and help support and build up the individual who walks in with little to no hope of sustained recovery. The RCC of the HUB provides support and solutions for those living with behavioral health and substance use disorders as well as their family and friends via walk-in, call in or online assistance. From linkage to services, peer support, recovery coaching, seminars, webinars, workshops; The HUB is a “one stop shop” for individuals in the community who need help, and don’t know where to turn. The HUB empowers, connects and advocates for individuals and families in all stages of recovery.

The Community Coming Together

After becoming aware that the disease of addiction had hit her home, Staci Katz attended an Opioid Summit at a local Palm Beach County Library in 2016. It was there she learned about The Palm Beach County Behavioral Coalition. Stacy decided to become involved in anything and everything she could to assist other people so that they would never have to endure the pain of living with a child or loved one in active addiction, alone, with nowhere to turn. Staci met Cindy Singer at a Coalition meeting, and learned of the tragic loss of her son Rory to an accidental overdose in 2015. Through tears and love they joined forces to become a part of the solution, forming a non-profit organization called Our2Sons in 2018.  The mission of Our2Sons is to help people who suffer from substance use disorder and their families by providing for basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, etc. Cindy and Stacy learned about Recovery Community Organizations at a coalition meeting, and were elated to become a part of the Core Leadership Team of The HUB in 2019.

Robin Tupper lost her youngest son Nick, forever 27, on March 21, 2017 to an accidental overdose. Nick battled SUD since age 14 and went through the worse of the “Florida shuffle.” On April 13, 2017 following the loss of her youngest son,, Robin almost lost her oldest son. Robin’s drive to help started to break through. Using social media, Robin joined various groups and connected with both local and out of state families. Robin became a contact for out of state families whose children or loved ones lived in Florida. She found resources for living, food, clothing, medical/dental and mental health services. She attended court hearings and assisted with the endless and confusing paperwork that overwhelms so many. In late 2017, Robin met Staci and was invited to attend the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition, and soon joined the local Martin County Coalition. It was there she met many others of similar minds who understand that something needs to change.

Becoming Legit

While “The Moms” (e.g., Cindy, Robin, and Staci) were meeting, growing and becoming more engaged as a collective unit, the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) adopted an Opioid Epidemic Response Plan (ORP) in Spring 2017 to guide opioid epidemic response efforts. The ORP represents a deep dive into this challenge including: root causes, data analysis, and feedback from key stakeholders. The main purpose of the group is to make recommendations and identify strategic areas of focus and action for a path forward.

The BCC has identified the opioid epidemic and behavioral and substance use disorder as areas of high priority, and has adopted a system of care paradigm shift from a treatment-centric approach to a person-centered, recovery-oriented system of care (ROSC) approach. This means a focus on quality of care and long-term recovery outcomes.  The BCC followed through on a key recommendation of the ORP and hired a Palm Beach County “Drug Czar”, John Hulick, to lead these efforts. John came on in April 2018 after serving as New Jersey’s “Drug Czar” and a Policy Advisor for Human Services, Children and Families under Governor Christopher J. Christie.

John has advanced the County’s ROSC, specifically through the establishment of Recovery Community Centers (RCC) which are intended to be recovery hubs facilitating “one-stop shopping” in the accrual of recovery capital and provide strong, recovery-specific, social support.  Using a ROSC model and an RCC has been found to be of particular help to those more vulnerable individuals beginning recovery from substance use disorder, who have few resources and low recovery capital. These models provide a unique function in helping participants build sustained high-quality recovery, thereby increasing quality of life and self-esteem, and decreasing psychological distress.

It’s Happening

This all finally came together with the help of the County Commissioners, Melissa McKinley, The Palm Beach County BHC, the ‘moms” and friends, stake holders and county support. The HUB found a home in the plaza, on the corner of Atlantic and Congress Ave in Delray Beach and construction began in July 2020. The work that went into this is just the beginning. The focus of the HUB is on the individual who has nowhere else to turn and feels like they have lost all hope. They are who the HUB will fight and move mountains for, to ensure they realize the simple truth- recovery is possible, you are not alone and as long as an individual has breath, there is hope.