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2021 In Review

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2021 In Review

2021 & COVID

The main story on everyone’s mind continues to be COVID-19, and things were no different here at Caz Recovery throughout 2021. The early part of the year was spent encouraging staff and residents to get their vaccines when they became available. We’re continuing to provide education to people throughout our organization on the benefits of getting vaccinated. It’s the quickest way to bring an end to the pandemic.

We enjoyed a couple months of near-normalcy in the early part of the summer, but the Delta variant certainly made things more challenging as soon as it surfaced. It was especially difficult in Western New York when cases climbed. We did everything we could to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible by following OASAS, DOH, and CDC guidance. While 2021 was another year dominated by the pandemic, plenty of other great things happened across Caz Recovery, too.

Focus on Residents

Madonna House continued its initiative to incentivize residents for making progress in their recovery. With Madonna House Bucks, the women in the program can earn points for doing something well, showing improvement, a kind act, and more. These points can then be spent at the Madonna House Store to purchase donated items from Dollar General, to skip a chore for a day, and other things.

Madonna House in Lockport, which we assumed operations of in 2016
Madonna House in Lockport

In the spring, Turning Point House staff and residents began engaging in volleyball and kickball together to help break down power dynamics that can commonly occur in counseling and healthcare. Residents at Turning Point House come up with the activity on Fridays, and they look forward to it all week.

Many of our Housing staff are new to the program, and they held a Winter Festival last month to introduce themselves to the program’s participants. The Housing staff also organized vendors to come in who had relevant and useful services for the people in the program. Staff and participants both contributed to Housing’s award-winning Gratitude Tree. 

Garden Lofts
Garden Lofts in Buffalo, which also contains our Housing office

We also officially converted our OASAS Community Residence programs – Casa Di Vita, Somerset House, Sundram Manor, and Unity House – to Reintegration in the fall. Reintegration connects residents to community resources while encouraging them to start working, attend school, or volunteer. Our Wellness programming was a huge success throughout all of our programs all year long, too.

Focus on Staff

None of this would be possible without our incredible staff members. Every year, they never cease to amaze us with their dedication to the people we support. This year was no different. In every possible way, they stepped up and continued to help people with substance use disorders.

This was all the more impressive in the face of the current workforce crisis afflicting the human services providers across Western New York. To help alleviate these pressures, we’re advocating for statewide change to properly fund substance use services.

We also refreshed our mission and vision this year, and we finished an update to our strategic plan. Thanks to everything that we’ve accomplished throughout 2021, 2022 looks to be even more transformative.

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