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Staff Spotlight – Marissa Franklin

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Marissa Franklin, Support Services Specialist

Marissa’s Background

Marissa Franklin is a Support Services Specialist at Somerset House in Appleton, NY, and she’s absolutely “rocking it” according to her supervisor, Erin DeWolfe. Marissa has been with Caz Recovery for about a year, and she started as a Residence Monitor covering overnight shifts at both Somerset House and Madonna House. In January, however, she was promoted to her current position.

She’s been achieving professional accomplishments left-and-right, but she’s met some educational goals, too. Recently, she obtained her associate’s degree in Mental Health and Substance Use from SUNY Erie, and she’s in the process of applying for her CASAC-T.  This has all culminated due to her desire to get as involved in our sector as possible. Like many people, she wanted to get in the field due to her own personal experience and the experience of her family and friends. “I wanted to make a difference,” she said.

Where Marissa Excels

One of the things Marissa is most proud of is the group she leads on co-dependency. “I have a lot of personal experience with this, and I still struggle with it,” said Marissa. Helping residents in their own issues with codependency often helps her with hers. “Being able to learn along with them has been a really cool experience,” she said. The group focuses on boundaries, communication skills, and how healthy relationships can form a foundation for recovery. “The opposite of addiction is connection,” Marissa added.

Over the last couple of months, she’s also been a fantastic support helping residents in our Lockport Supportive Living apartments. Marissa said that the residents there recently had a “360-degree switch” in motivation recently. “I love it,” she added. “When we do see those changes, it’s pretty significant.” The extra support she provides to the people in our programs proved to be even more important after the tragedy of the mass shooting at a Buffalo Tops in May. She reached out to all of her residents to check in while paying particular attention to her residents who were Black as they may have been more strongly affected by what happened. “They were super appreciative,” she said. “The one girl was really struggling. She really appreciated just knowing that I made the effort to call her.” It’s easy to see that Marissa fits right in at Somerset House and that she’s contributing to the program’s successes. “I like working with an open-minded crew of people,” she explained. “They’re all super encouraging of me.”

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