PUEBLO — When someone is struggling with substance abuse, their family or loved ones may wonder where exactly to turn. In Pueblo, a CRAFT grant (Community Reinforcement Approach Family Training) has allowed the Southern Colorado Harm Reduction Association (SCHRA) to open their doors to the public for such sponsored sessions once a week.
The Founder and Executive Director of SCHRA, Judy Solano, said this grant has been a long time coming. "I have been chasing it for over a year to bring it to Pueblo," said Solano. According to Solano, the state grant is for $24,000 over one year, which pays for the facilitators and other charges associated with the meetings. Solano said the grant is from the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health. Solano said they are not the only place in Pueblo to offer CRAFT training, but she said they are the only one that is free and open to the public.
The program is designed to help both those struggling with addiction, and their families or loved ones. Solano said they are starting with a group of 10 people, and the sessions are in their third week at the moment. One of the facilitators of the meetings said it's all about listening and understanding. "We're here to ask the questions and let the individuals find their path and go through that way," said Nicholas Donaldson, a peer specialist for the CRAFT groups.
Donaldson's Co-Facilitator, Justin Schermerhorn, said he hopes to help people learn how to better communicate about addiction through these sessions. "People are not alone, that there are resources there to help them, and we're trying to make a change on the small scale and hopefully to the larger scale eventually," said Schermerhorn.
Solano said they are still accepting people and families for these sessions. She likes the meetings to stay relatively small, around 10 people per group, but said they will create more meeting times if the demand is high enough. The groups typically go through an eight week cycle, but she said missing a session or starting after a cycle has began is not a deal breaker.
To reserve a spot, call SCHRA at (719)289-7149 or visit their website to learn more.