Offering Rehabilitation at Cazenovia Manor has brought new opportunities for the programs’ residents. The onsite substance use and mental health treatment, paired with basic primary care, have helped residents make important strides in their recovery.
One development within the new model is the addition of an activities coordinator. Shannon Franz has been in the position for about a month, and she’s already had a positive impact on the lives of our residents by implementing recovery-friendly activities.
She runs support groups during the evening twice a week. These feature recovery-friendly activities like creating collages, woven pieces of art, and simple musical instruments such as rain sticks. In each of these activities, Shannon reinforces mindfulness. This allows residents to take a moment to relax and “let their emotions out in a different way,” according to Shannon.
In addition to onsite activities, Shannon organizes events in the community like local boat tours, walks, and trips to Niagara Falls and Buffalo’s Central Terminal. She recently brought residents to see “Prescribed to Death,” a memorial to the opioid epidemic sponsored by the National Safety Council. It was featured at Canalside in Buffalo. “It was intense,” said Shannon. “The residents liked it, and it put into perspective how lucky they are to be alive.”
Shannon also integrates residents into local self-help networks. Residents recently went to self-help events and picnics at local parks.
So far, the response from residents to Shannon’s recovery-friendly activities has been extremely positive. “They’re very grateful,” Shannon noted. “You can tell how much it means to them to be experiencing all these new things.” Upcoming plans include trips to the Buffalo Zoo and peer recovery yoga.
Through these activities, Shannon introduces residents to potential hobbies and future careers. This is important as individuals learn new skills and methods to spend time without the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Next up, Shannon will help the men at Cazenovia Manor coordinate an agency-wide food drive. It will benefit Food Gnomes, a mobile food pantry in Buffalo. The residents will collect food donations, toiletries, and socks throughout the month of October. “We’re putting the initiative in their hands,” she remarked. “They like the idea of volunteering since many of them were homeless at one point,” said Shannon.