By Mark Powell
Recovering Out Loud
An online search led her to a newly-formed organization called Young People in Recovery (YPR). It seemed like a perfect fit. So in 2012, Moseley Hyde became a founding member. Jenni Kelley is now the chapter’s lead. The visibility of the organization drew her in. “I thought it was cool that people were so open about their recovery. I knew that putting a face and voice to recovery was important. When I moved back to the Louisville area, I was a 30-year-old single mother in recovery and I wanted to be involved in something new.”
Though it took some time to get the chapter up and running, it now boasts over 100 supporters and members. It’s been so successful in such a short time, the chapter even has grant funding to replicate its work in seven other areas of Kentucky.
YPR- Louisville, KY is a volunteer initiative. It’s organized through a committee of young people in recovery, counselors, self-help members, community leaders and other volunteers who regularly gather to collaborate, plan and host community events celebrating recovery. It’s open to anyone interested in improving the recovery community while also helping to inspire those trying to better their lives. The group hosts events, attends fairs and community gatherings to promote and nurture recovery from addiction around Kentucky.
YPR-Louisville, KY looks at where recovery support is lacking in the community and starts working with small businesses to provide employment opportunities to those with criminal justice involvement (by helping them get jobs, produce resumes, land interviews, etc.). “YPR provides the aftercare of treatment. Our message is that everyone deserves a chance at recovery and we want to be an advocate for those who don’t have access to resources,” Kelley says.
One of its biggest draws is Ultimate Frisbee. The group found a place near Louisville’s Waterfront Park and began hosting biweekly competitions. “We started out with 20 people,” Moseley Hyde recalls. “Then we had 30, then 50 and so on. Magazines started publishing our schedule. It’s too cold to play outside in winter, so we offer indoor dodgeball instead. We just created the opportunity for people to come together.”
They then took it a step further and began working in advocacy. YPR-Louisville, KY helped push for a heroin law change in 2015 that expanded access to naloxone, established a Good Samaritan law, and syringe exchange law.
YPR-Louisville, KY recently partnered with a local mental health agency to open the Louisville Recovery Community Connection Center. The space is a hub for all things recovery–a safe and fun environment for both individuals already in recovery and those who are seeking recovery and fellowship with the recovery community.
In 2016, YPR-Louisville, KY began working outside of Louisville, creating recovery resources in other parts of the Commonwealth. “Basically, we’re giving people an opportunity to find their tribe,” Moseley Hyde says.
And in YPR-Louisville, KY, she has found her own.
YPR was a featured award winner in the 2019 Innovation Now project of the Addiction Policy Forum.
J. Mark Powell is an author, former network journalist, and veteran communications expert.