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Wed., Jul. 23
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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A helping hand

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It’s no secret that people in Northern New York depend a great deal on services provided by nonprofit organizations.

But it’s also no secret that nonprofit organizations rely on stable sources of revenue to continue their programs. Active participation by members of the community is crucial to keeping these groups vibrant.

Two local organizations announced they were in the early stages of developing a program for women who have gone through a substance abuse program. North Country Freedom Homes in Canton and New Hope Transformation House Ministries in Potsdam envision a program that would allow these women a place to stay for a period of time as they transfer to a life of self-sufficiency.

“Gregory A. Aldrich, director of services for North Country Freedom Homes, said he is hopeful that a partnership could happen, but added it is too early to confirm anything. He said he did not want to give too many details about a potential program that is still in its infancy,” according to a Tuesday story in the Watertown Daily Times.

Any program that comes from this effort will start small.

“They’ve finished rehab, but they still need some structure and a little more support before they can go back to living independently,” Carolyn M. White, former director of the chemical dependency unit at Canton-Potsdam Hospital in Potsdam and chairwoman of New Hope Transformation House Ministries, said in Tuesday’s story.

Since it began in 2012, Transformation House has helped women recover from drug addiction. Started by members of New Hope Community Church in Potsdam, the program uses a faith-based approach to helping its clients.

Freedom House operates a halfway house for men. The program had to stop its coed service, and Mr. Aldrich said there is still a need for something catering to women.

It’s good that two nonprofit organizations are working together to provide a needed service. The north country benefits by having people such as the ones in these two groups who see the larger picture of good communities and put their talents to good use.

But as we have seen with the North Country Family Health Center and Family Counseling Service of Northern New York, money can run short quickly. Then much time and energy is spent trying to keep the doors open month to month with emergency aid packages.

Freedom Homes and Transformation House should ensure they have a reliable source of revenue to keep the program operating if they opt to move forward. They also should make good use of resources from people in their communities to keep the program effective. It appears those involved in this project are off to a good step, and we hope the north country embraces this ministry as a productive asset.

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