Sponsored by: Northstar Bank

Written by Audrey Sochor

   This week a group of good samaritans banded together to get a lady down on her luck a much needed new roof. That group consisted of the recovery members of Blue Water Recovery & Outreach Center.

   Patrick Patterson, manager of public relations and funding for BWROC, said the peer-driven organization is structured around volunteer efforts to give back to the community and show recovering addicts do care.

   “We offer a face to those in recovery,” Patterson said.

   When recovering addicts lack resources to help with their addictions they tend to have more interaction with law enforcement, he said, and become the “herd of cattle” shuffling through treatment centers. Members of BWROC are individuals looking to change their lives.

   Community engagement opportunities such as the roofing project get those individuals off the street, socializing and breaking patterns of isolating themselves, which makes it easier to slip into bad habits. This is something Patterson himself is familiar with as a recovering addict.

   “I joined BWROC because I couldn’t find any other solutions,” Patterson said. “I was the herd of cattle going to treatment center to treatment center, and when I found Blue Water Recovery and Outreach Center it gave me the spark and life that I needed to feel again.

   “Being able to give back and do it with others has been life altering,” he added.

   Roofing is a pilot project for BWROC and its members, but they’re not doing it alone. The organization partnered with One Way Remodeling. Together they searched for a person who needed a roof but couldn’t afford one on their own. 

   “We pride ourselves in the golden rule: treating other people like we would want to be treated,” said Mike Grennan of One Way Remodeling. “Not just your home, but your family.”

   With the prevalence of addiction affecting the construction community, Grennan and his crew work to show addicts there are better ways to live and show the public the other side of addiction.

   “We try to reach out in the community and break the stigma of addiction and persons with addiction,” he said. “A lot of times I think that people have this idea that drug addicts or alcoholics are just bad people. Maybe they have this vision in their mind of some junkie in an alley with a needle hanging out his arm or wino walking down the street with a brown paper bag around that bottle of booze. There’s another side to that.”

  To learn more about the Blue Water Recovery & Outreach Center visit bwroc.org or call 810-689-4858.