Senator Blackburn Tours Future NETRRC Facility

Event- Yesterday, Senator Marsha Blackburn joined several regional mayors and commissioners in Roan Mountain to tour the future Northeast Tennessee Regional Residential Recovery Center.

This new facility will bring hope and recovery to residents. Instead of incarceration, they will engage in a long-term treatment program that addresses rehabilitation from substance use and a focus on mental health. In turn, healing can begin for both the individual and their families. Through recovery and reunification, residents can lead productive lives and contribute great things to our community. The ripple effect will be incalculable, and the NETRRC facility will be the foundation for hundreds of lives changed across East Tennessee.

Community and collectively working together are both the past and future of the center. Several Northeast Tennessee counties contributed funds from their “Baby Doe” opioid settlements to help start the center, and the NETRRC will be connected to local drug courts. The facility will also be governed by a board of directors that includes representatives from participating counties. Through this regional approach, nine counties/ municipalities will have the opportunity to have access to a rehabilitative facility with a full curriculum of care. #LoveRestores

Members of Families Free staff with Senator Marsha Blackburn
Senator Blackburn, local commissioners, judges, and members of the NETRRC team tour the facility
Families Free Executive Director and Senator Blackburn

We want to thank Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby, chair of the NETRRC board, for her commitment and hard work toward bringing this project to fruition and the support of Senator Blackburn and Governor Bill Lee’s administration.

MeredithSenator Blackburn Tours Future NETRRC Facility
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Grace and Grit – March ’23 Recovery Court Graduation

Life-changing. Miraculous. Empowering.

These three words were chosen by Danny, Jerry, and Tabitha to describe their time in the First Judicial District Felony Recovery Court program.

Last night, we gathered to congratulate our most recent graduates and celebrate their hard work and achievements. Since 2017, 28 people have completed the recovery court program, and now Danny, Jerry, and Tabitha can be counted among those who have walked alongside their peers in recovery.

FJDFRC Team members Judge Lisa Rice and Judge Stacy Street commended the graduates and thanked them for their hard work. “This group is phenomenal. I think they are some of the best we have ever had. We are grateful, thankful, and proud of you. We are so excited for this group,” Judge Rice said.

“Grace and grit are what it takes to succeed in the program. Grit comes from the hard work you must put in and is present every single day. But there’s a point that you reach before grace and grit. Before you can do that in the program, a relationship, or your job – you have to surrender. You have to surrender to recovery and trust the team. Our graduates realize that’s the only way they are going to succeed. That’s where the grit comes in and what gets you grace.” Judge Street said.

These three have shown exceptional determination and strength, and the FJDFRC team is immensely proud of their accomplishments. We are excited about their futures and the positive impact they will make in their communities. #LoveRestores

Thanks again to Judge Rice, Judge Street, and Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby for speaking at last night’s ceremony. We loved seeing family, friends, current and past program participants, and members of the First Judicial Felony Recovery Court team come out to support the graduates and honor them on this occasion.

Sam Buchanan of ColorWorks and Andy Wilson of Mapes Piano String Company were in attendance last night, and we wanted to echo Judge Rice’s gratitude for these businesses. They ensure employment with benefits for those in our program, and they also accommodate recovery schedules. This understanding helps ensure they have time to attend classes, stay active in support groups, and maintain a solid foundation for their recovery.

*Programs partially funded by the TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TNDMHSAS)

MeredithGrace and Grit – March ’23 Recovery Court Graduation
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Recovery Court Graduation – December 2022

When asked, “How do you grow up to have that type of career?” Professional Football Player Jason Witten’s answer is always the same: “The secret is in the dirt. I was never the most talented, never the flashiest, I relied on grit.”

Witten’s speech was referenced during our latest Recovery Court graduation for honoree Kevin Woodby. The theme of the ceremony, “Grace and Grit,” is one that resonates with both our recovery court team and past and present program participants that were in attendance. It takes grace and grit to engage with the program and to take the necessary steps toward recovery and restoration.

Our team congratulates Kevin Woodby on his hard work in the Recovery Court program, and we all look forward to seeing how he grows and impacts our community. We also want to thank speakers Judge Lisa Rice, Judge Stacy Street, Rep. Tim Hicks, Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby, and Kevin’s brother Lee Woodby for their support. #LoveRestores

*Programs partially funded by the TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TNDMHSAS)

MeredithRecovery Court Graduation – December 2022
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Client Christmas Party 2022

It’s been two days, but we are still in awe of the remarkable group of people who supported our clients by hosting and organizing such a fantastic Christmas Party.

We want to thank Rebecca Davis of Calvary Church and their volunteers for hosting this event, Families Free Board Member Aliceson Bales and her team of stocking elves, Board Member Stacie Torbett, and Families Free’s Stephanie & Brooke for their incredible organization and guidance throughout the planning process. The support of these individuals and the hard work of our team ensured that the party was a success.

The evening included photos with Santa and dinner with family and friends. Then our clients had the opportunity to select items for their children’s stockings and receive additional gifts, pajamas, books, and a gingerbread house as the kids enjoyed making a craft with Calvary Church volunteers!

Families Free feels grateful to our community for helping us serve our clients this holiday season and for the chance to help everyone make great Christmas memories. #LoveRestores

*Additional thanks to our Santa and Kris Marie Photography for their gift of ensuring our families had Christmas photos with Santa.

**Featured photos courtesy of Kris Marie and Families Free staff.

MeredithClient Christmas Party 2022
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