The Family Restored: Offering treatment scholarships, support and hope to the recovery community

By Catherine Berce

Born out of a desire to offer support to families coping with a loved one’s addiction, a small group of people from the Portland recovery community created a support meeting in 2011 called Addict in the Family (AIF). The founders wanted to offer support, education and hope to families struggling to understand a loved one’s addiction.

While facilitating support meetings, the founders heard again and again from families that costs associated with recovery often prevented loved ones from entering recovery. To answer this need, the founders of Addict in the Family launched a non-profit in 2014 called The Family Restored with a mission to establish a scholarship fund to help families pay for recovery-treatment programs and associated housing costs.

“When we started, we hoped to raise $10,000 to help five to 10 families with some of the costs associated with recovery,” said John Buro, one of the founders of The Family Restored. “It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come since then.”

In the five years since its launch, The Family Restored has raised more than $500,000 to fund treatment scholarships, as well as family support groups, education about addiction, 12 Step workshops for inmates at the Cumberland County Jail and a sober-living house called Oak House for women in Portland. In 2018, The Family Restored provided $151,694 in treatment scholarships to 116 individuals for their recovery.

The Family Restored now offers support meetings, treatment scholarships and workshops in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts, in addition to Maine. AIF meetings impact about 500 people each month, and the organization is expanding its meeting locations to include more rural communities. According to Karen Walsh, co-founder of The Family Restored and its current board president, the generosity of the community and its many volunteers have made the organization’s impact and reach significant.

“Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for our volunteers, private donations and the willingness of people to help one another,” Walsh says. “I’m constantly taken aback by the amount of support that we’ve been able to harness for families and their loved ones who want to begin their recovery.”
To learn more about The Family Restored, including its treatment scholarships, women’s sober house, AIF meetings and educational workshops, visit www.thefamilyrestored.org, email info@thefamilyrestored.org or call (207) 808-7480.

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