Our Mission & Vision
Voices of Recovery San Mateo County (VOR) is a nonprofit (501 c3) peer-led organization that was established in 2010 with the purpose of advocating for and supporting the recovery community—people overcoming drug and/or alcohol addictions. Voices of recovery recognizes that hope is a powerful lever for recovery that can be ignited by the leadership, peer support, and lived experience of people who have themselves overcome addictions.
Though small with a budget of only $500.000, VOR has achieved an outstanding success rate in helping people achieve and maintain recovery through wellness recovery action planning (wrap®). Wrap® is an evidence-based practice that empowers people to understand, fulfill and maintain progress towards their own wellness and recovery. With a staff size of three full time employees, eight part-time employees, there are eight certified wrap facilitators, and two advanced level wrap facilitators, who offer support in preventing relapse, sustaining long-term recovery and support to family members affected by others’ addictions.
Voices of recovery offers hope to over 3500 people annually and helps build employment opportunities for people in recovery community. VOR outreach to promote addiction free lifestyles, participates in health fairs, presentations, agency partnership/ social media and the prevention and education about drugs and alcohol. VOR enjoys stable partnerships with Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHA), San Mateo County’s Health System Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, SAMHSA other public agencies and nonprofit organizations and is an active partner in local and national initiatives.
Voices of Recovery coordinates efforts already established to connect with alcohol and drug providers, other recovery groups (12-step and non-12-step), faith-based organizations, and alcohol and other drug studies students, and more as we discover them.
In 2008, with a vision on how peer-led recovery services might help reduce service gaps and augment the more formalized treatment system, San Mateo County (SMC) commissioned a needs assessment. The national council on alcoholism and drug dependence chapter in neighboring Santa Clara County, Voices United, was contracted to perform the study.
A product of the needs assessment was a survey administered To San Mateo County (SMC) clients, other people in recovery, family members and those working in the field of addiction. Respondents came from all across the county (south, central, north, east palo alto and coast side regions). Respondents were diverse in race and ethnicity - they were 38% Caucasian, 20% Hispanic, 19% African American, 9% Asian/Pacific Islander And 13% Other.
Three top needs were needs identified from the study. These were (1) support for those new in recovery, (2) support for those in long-term recovery, and (3) support for those affected by other people’s addiction, including family members.
The decision to develop a peer support center followed. In the fall of 2008, clients, family members and addiction professionals formed a steering committee. The committee developed specific recommendations for the development of a peer support center. Recommendations included short- and long-term goals, staffing and the ongoing role of the committee. As a result of all these efforts, the voices of recovery center opened in a temporary, donated location in central county on October 30, 2009.
VORSMC serves all adults with recovery needs/interests as well as their significant others. In addition, in response to some particular needs/gaps, VORSMC became involved, and continues with several collaborative efforts. Specific areas of collaboration include mental health, trauma-informed care, criminal justice and healthcare integration.