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On June 22, 2023 the City of New Rochelle took a proactive step in combating the opioid and drug crisis with a community fair and forum. The event, held at Montefiore New Rochelle’s HETI Conference Center, brought together residents and local and area nonprofits for an educational evening to discuss available resources and strategies to combat substance abuse and addiction.
The event began with a resource fair featuring key partners in the fight against drug addiction. Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, the City School District of New Rochelle, NCADD (National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Westchester), CHAMP Hotline – Legal Action Center, Drug Crisis in our Backyard, Hope Not Handcuffs, Westchester Coalition for Drug & Alcohol-Free Youth (Power to the Parent), Mental Health Association of Westchester – Encompass Program were among the organizations present, providing valuable information and support to attendees. Dinner and child care were provided.
At 7pm, the resource fair transitioned into a community forum, moderated by New Rochelle City Manager Kathleen Gill and featuring Det. Melissa Diniz-New Rochelle Police Department, Dr. Johnny Kwan-Montefiore Hospital, Paul Rickard-Hope Not Handcuffs, Susan Salomone-Drug Crisis in our Backyard, Lorena Rucaj-Encompass, and Dennis Andrews-NCADD. This interactive session allowed residents to engage with experts and ask questions about opioid and drug use. Families were provided with effective strategies to recognize signs that loved ones are struggling with addiction and what everyone can do to combat drug usage in their community.
“By coming together as a community, we can make a significant impact in combating drug addiction,” said City Manager Gill. “This forum provided an opportunity for residents to gain knowledge, share experiences, and find assistance. And thanks to the collaboration with our local nonprofits, we are putting in place the supportive network needed to ensure a safer, healthier City.”