||OASAS Services Coordinator Allison O'Dell.
AIM's new Family Support Navigator Program, which helps individuals and families who are struggling with addiction, began serving the community on March 1.
The program provides addiction education, and connects people with treatment programs and recovery supports.
It will also help people with h
ealth insurance, finding housing and transportation, and applying for benefits such as food and heating assistance.
The free program is funded by a five-year, $500,000 grant from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. It focuses on Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties.
Allison O'Dell, the program coordinator, explains further in a Q&A:
Q: Tell us about the program.
A: This program focuses on supporting individuals with addictions and their families, friends and other supporters. We're really focused on helping people understand addiction and learn about what treatments and other supports are out there. Basically, we'll meet with families and give referrals to services they're interested in, and we're planning to host a series of educational/support groups.
Q: Why do you feel this program will meet a need in the community?
A: What I love about this program is that it focuses on serving the entire family. Addiction doesn't just affect one person, it affects the entire family. This will help ensure that not only do people living with addictions get the help they need but that their families also get the help and support they need.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: I started with AIM three years ago as the TRAID Coordinator (AIM's assistive technology loan program) while I was getting my Bachelor's in Social Work. I was drawn to AIM's mission of inclusion and I wanted to be able to help people. Right now, I'm working on my Master's in Social Work and when I saw this opportunity I knew I had to take it. Like our consumers, my family has been touched by addiction, and getting the opportunity to help other families navigate addiction and treatment is something I'm really honored to be part of.