The head of the Myrover-Reese Fellowship Home said she doesn't know exactly how the group will use the $1 million it received from the state budget, but she wants it to be used in a way that will help people in need.
Executive Director Tammy Thompson said the nonprofit’s board of directors, which is made up of 14 community members, still needs to allocate how the money will be spent.
“I just hope we are able to expand … and help more people that need the help and services that we provide,” she said.
The funding for Myrover-Reese is part of more than $412 million in the state budget that is coming to Cumberland County.
The nonprofit, which can house nearly 45 residents, is made up of three locations, one for women, one for men and one for VA veterans, Thompson said.
“There are more beds for men than there are for women,” she said.
The Myrover-Reese Fellowship Home, founded by Jimmy Myrover and Pat Reese, just celebrated 50 years of service, Thompson said.
“We are a six-month residential treatment facility for men and women who struggle with alcohol and drug addiction,” she said.
The 12-step program is based on Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.
“When the residents come here … they do their intensive outpatient treatment through Carolina Outreach, they have to have a sponsor, they have to work a 12-step program,” she said.
Regular meetings are also required of the residents.
“A sponsor is someone that works with the resident … one on one to help them get through the 12 steps of the AA or NA program,” she said.
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Seth Gay, 37, a former resident, said he battled with addiction for nearly 20 years before receiving treatment at the non-profit.
“I knew that I didn’t want to do that anymore, but I didn’t know … how to live without heroin,” he said. “I knew I wasn’t going to live with it, but I didn’t know if I could live without it.”
Gay, who lives in Fayetteville and now works at the non-profit as a house manager, said he’s been sober for nearly two years.
In 2019, he was released from prison and soon after found himself at the doorsteps of the Myrover-Reese Fellowship Home.
“I have an older brother who suffered from addiction as well, and he came down here and got his life together,” Gay said. “I came down here to try and get a fresh start.”
After years of substance and alcohol abuse, and overdosing more than a dozen times, Gay said he wouldn’t have been able to overcome his addiction without the help of the non-profit.
“For the first couple of weeks it was tough, because there’s an adjustment period,” he said. “This place — they loved me, till I could learn to love myself.”
Before Thompson, Gay’s sister-in-law was the executive director at the non-profit.
“They got me enrolled in Carolina Outreach, so I did intensive outpatient treatment,” he said. “That helped a lot.”
Gay said the non-profit allowed him to receive six months of treatment even though he didn't have health insurance.
“This place taught me how to care for my fellow man,” he said. “Myrover-Reese gave me a place where I could develop a relationship with God.”
Due to a family history of alcohol and substance abuse, Gay said he no longer drinks alcohol or smokes.
“Addiction … runs rampant through our family tree,” he said. “And alcoholism.”
As a former substance abuser, Gay said he’s worked hard for the life he has now.
“And for me it’s just not worth it,” he said. “I’m not willing to risk anything to jeopardize what I have today and really, I have no desire to either.”
The non-profit assists men, women and veterans battling with substance and alcohol addiction, Gay said.
“This place gave me a life worth living and talking about,” he said. “I honestly in my heart feel like none of it would have been possible without Myrover-Reese.”
The Myrover-Reese Fellowship Home is located at 60 Wilkes Road. For more information on the non-profit, visit mrfh.org.
Health and education writer Ariana-Jasmine Castrellon can be reached at email@example.com or 910-486-3561.
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This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Myrover-Reese Fellowship Home receives $1 million from state budget