Victor Estrada is no stranger to the recovery community in Washington State. As a longtime member of local recovery groups as well as current Homeless Outreach manager at Women’s Resource Center, Victor knows intimately how addiction can change someone’s life. Many of the clients he works with on a daily basis are affected by addiction, mental illness, or both. Here in Central Washington, however, resources for those struggling with addiction are limited.
“I attended a summit for the Washington Recovery Alliance in 2017 and realized that we didn’t have anything like this in our area, and we needed it.”
(Victor is one of the founding members of the Central Washington Recovery Coalition. Photo by NCACH)
That’s why Victor teamed up with local community members and the Washington Recovery Alliance to launch the Central Washington Recovery Coalition in June 2018.
The Central Washington Recovery Coalition is open to anyone who has struggled with addiction or has a family member who has struggled with addiction. It’s a needed piece of the recovery puzzle, according to Victor.
“The [Central Washington Recovery] Coalition is here to advocate for everybody. [It’s here] to bring awareness of addiction in our valley and awareness of mental health issues and resources available. I’m a 12-step member – we are anonymous. We don’t carry the message of recovery unless we are approached. The Coalition is that visible resource for those interested in supporting or getting involved with recovery.”
While it is initially drawing members from the Chelan and Douglas County region, Victor says that the Coalition hopes to expand to the entire Central region, including Grant and Okanogan Counties. “We want to get all the counties involved and get the whole Central Washington area covered… right now there aren’t enough resources to go around. For example, our local recovery group here in Wenatchee has been driving over to support and host groups in Grant County… People don’t realize that addiction is such a big problem for our community.”
(North Central Washington communities are no strangers to addiction or recovery. Stories of Recovery wall featured at a recent National Recovery Month event in Omak on September 22. Photo by NCACH)
With September being National Recovery Month, the Central Washington Recovery Coalition is hosting its first large community event: Hands Across the Bridge on Saturday, September 29. It’s a “unity event,” says Victor. “It’s about letting people know that we are here [in Central Washington] and we are here to stay as a resource. We want you to know that it’s possible to change.”
The Hands Across the Bridge event will feature a large group serenity prayer on the Columbia River Bridge (or the “Walking Bridge”) in Wenatchee as well as a reception at Walla Walla park with guest speakers, partner booths, and a BBQ lunch provided for all. The event is free to attend.
Hands Across the Bridge – Wenatchee
Hosted by the Central Washington Recovery Alliance
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Meet at the Walking Bridge
2:00 pm – 5:30 pm – Walla Walla Point Park, Shelter #2
For more information about the Central Washington Recovery Alliance or the Hands Across the Bridge event, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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