ELLSWORTH – Finding a job is a challenge for anyone, but if you’re a recovering drug addict with a criminal record it’s even tougher.
Now a pilot project in Hancock County seeks to bridge the gap between recovery and being a productive member of society.
The goal is to help recovering addicts, who are convicts, transition from the jail population to the job market.
It’s called the Hancock County Workforce Recovery Program. And, the $45,000 to fund the partnership came from the community betterment fund. Money for that fund comes from a payment received from First Wind, owners of the Eastbrook Windmill Farm.
“There are so many options for an individual who is reentering into their community. And, what it is we provide is a sense of direction and help them understand that they are worthy of the services,” said Joanna Russell, director of the Hancock County Workforce Recovery Program.
This partnership unites Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Healthy Acadia, Open Door Recovery Program and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department.
“And the other sad part of it is, you’re already funding a 58-bed detox facility. Right here at the Hancock County Jail,” said Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane.
The funding will be used for training of recovery coaches, as well as clothing, eyeglasses and even dental work so the recovering addicts can be at their best for job interviews.
Russell said, “The other piece is understanding the employers’ expectation. They need to be willing to demonstrate that they’ve turned their life around.”