On the evening of Friday, February 9, New Hope Rising (NHR) will host its second annual psychic fundraiser with psychic medium Josephine Ghiringhelli. The organization anticipates an attendance of at least 250 people, with all proceeds going to support the non-profit's programming and scholarships offered throughout the year to individuals and families affected by addiction.
"I can't say enough amazing things about the gift Josephine has. It truly is an amazing thing to see," said Lauren McNamara, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of New Hope Rising. Ghiringhelli has a personal connection to the mission of New Hope Rising, having lost her son to addiction when he was twenty-one years old. Ghiringhelli and NHR will commemorate her son, who was a singer, by including a CD of his music recordings in the event's gift bags.
The doors open at 6 p.m., with a buffet dinner, dessert, coffee and tea (all donated by local eateries) offered to guests before the group reading begins at 7:30 p.m. It is then that Ghiringhelli will scan the audience and select individuals for readings. In addition to the main reading, there will also be a Chinese Auction and 50/50 to benefit New Hope Rising.
The tickets, $50 in advance and $60 at the door, will support and ensure the continuation of many of the services NHR offers to the community. Last year, supporters in the community donated both time and money to help with NHR's Community Outreach Program, which provides services at no cost to the individual and his/her family. This program increases access and provides advocacy for inpatient treatment, provides intervention in family crises, helps families engage with loved ones to seek treatment, and helps with referrals for inpatient treatment.
Last year, 45 individuals received inpatient treatment and general services were provided to them and their families. An additional 29 individuals in the residential recovery program received scholarships. All of this was made possible by the funds raised by community members and the organization's fundraising events, including its first psychic night with Ghiringhelli.
In June 2017, NHR opened its new location: a Recovery and Wellness Center in Westhampton Beach, which is open to the community and separate from its recovery housing programs. The Center provides individual psychotherapy with licensed clinical social workers, and offers a variety of low cost workshops which are open to the community. Such services include reiki, meditation, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) group, and stress management. The Center also provides free services to individuals and their families with family support groups offered twice monthly and Families Anonymous group meetings on Monday evenings.
"The purpose of this is really to help people find whatever path to wellness works for them. So in addition to going to outpatient treatment and going to 12 step meetings, it's about finding other things that can assist them on their path to recovery," shared McNamara. "We really believe no one person is the same, so everything is very individualized."
The recovery housing program, a separate entity, is set up as a four-phase program to help individuals recover from substance abuse disorders. Staff reside on site with the individuals and help them pursue a recovery of the whole self, which NHR defines as the "mind, body, and spirit." Residents have access to the same holistic services as those offered at the Wellness Center, such as yoga and gym memberships, and these services are provided for free.
"For the programs that we provide, what sets us apart is our structure and support. It's not to say that there aren't other good 'sober houses' on Long Island, but they don't provide the same level of structure and support that we do," explained McNamara. "We just provide a different level of care for people. When they walk into our homes, the first thing they say is that it feels like a home, it feels like a family, it feels like a community."
With the recovery housing programs, Recovery and Wellness Center, and community outreach programming, NHR takes a holistic and integrated approach to working with addiction--affording residents and their families multiple ways to find recovery.
In addition to providing recreational activities and fun outings such as movie and bowling nights, NHR also provides professional and vocational support services for those seeking re-integration into other facets of society. "We have a big focus on job readiness activities - resume development, vocational support for people to get back on their feet. We've seen people make some huge changes, returning to self-sufficiency, rebuilding family relationships, returning to work, returning to school," McNamara shared.
"One of the reasons why we created the programs we created is so that individuals and families have services to turn to. Many times when someone is ready to go into inpatient treatment, they face a lot of barriers such as insurance or a waitlist. Our program provides advocacy and support, and all of those services provided for free," explained McNamara.
Addiction is a subject making headlines nationally, with the opioid epidemic becoming a regular topic in the news cycle. According to the CDC, drug overdose and opioid-related deaths are increasing in the United States and in 2016, opioids were responsible for the deaths of over 42,000 individuals.
"Year by year the headlines reflect exactly what is 'going on in the community," said McNamara. "It really has no boundaries, it crosses all demographics. No one is immune to it and I think there has been this idea in the past that it's not happening in my community, it's not happening to kids, it's not happening to my neighbors. But the reality is that it is happening. It's something that really needs our attention and our support if we're going to change it."
The event this February is a step towards that change. Community members can come together to enjoy a night out while also giving back in ways that may be immeasurable for other individuals and families. "We've seen many, many miracles in our programs for people that weren't able to really maintain any long term recovery," shared McNamara.
New Hope Rising is a not-for-profit that was founded in 2014. It provides recovery housing, free community outreach programs, and wellness activities. Its mission is to provide quality care and services to individuals impacted by addition.
The event will be held at 230 Elm
(230 Elm Street, Southampton) and is expected to last until 9:30 p.m.
To buy tickets, please visit nhrpsychicnight.brownpapertickets.com. For more information about New Hope Rising, please visit newhoperisingny.org.