All posts tagged: success

Song, Stories, Sunset – Families Free Annual Fundraiser

It’s been two weeks since our annual fundraiser, and we are still feeling the love and encouragement shown to us that evening. Those in attendance heard more about the community we serve and the work we’ve put into our programs that support families across the region. Our team sends a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate another year of restoration.

We also want to extend a big thank you to everyone that gave their time, gifts, and donations – without you we could not have had such a beautiful evening. Because of the generosity of our community and sponsors, we will have $121,500 from pledges to give, stock, Givebutter, and website donations to put toward programming that supports the restoration of families in East Tennessee.

Thank you to Chateau Selah for hosting us, Divine Catering Company, and to our sponsors Ginseng Mobile BarSturgill OrthodonticsSturgill EndodonticsTruistUniversal Wine and Spirits, and West Towne Pharmacy.

We also want to thank Barry Bales, Jenee Fleenor, Jason Hoard, and Mary Meyer for providing beautiful music set against the gorgeous mountain backdrop. We were honored and humbled to have Judge Stacy Street and Maggie McNally share that through their work with adults and children, respectively, they have seen firsthand how Families Free has impacted the community for the better. #LoveRestores

*featured photos taken by Bill Rambo

MeredithSong, Stories, Sunset – Families Free Annual Fundraiser

Lisa Tipton – ETSU Distinguished Alumni

We want to congratulate our Executive Director Lisa Tipton for being honored as an ETSU- College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences Distinguished Alumni and Hall of Fame Recipient! Lisa leads our team in lifting up vulnerable families in our community through education, intervention, and relationship restoration. #LoveRestores

MeredithLisa Tipton – ETSU Distinguished Alumni

Congratulations Tabatha!

Governor Bill Lee has proclaimed May 2022 as Recovery Court Month, and the First Judicial District Felony Recovery Court and Families Free want to take this opportunity to celebrate by recognizing one of our alumni. We want to congratulate Tabatha Fatolitis on graduating from Northeast State Community College with her Associates in Behavioral and Social Science. We are so proud of her accomplishments and look forward to her amazing future. #LoveRestores

MeredithCongratulations Tabatha!

First Judicial District Felony Recovery Court Receives National Honor

“Love and justice go together. Justice without love can be brutal, and love without justice can be banal. Love is the heart of justice, and justice is the social form of love.” – Richard Rohr.

We shared with you earlier this month that the First Judicial District Felony Recovery Court was named one of 10 national mentor treatment courts by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. We are still very grateful for this honor! #LoveRestores

Thank you to WJHL for featuring this recognition and our hopes to expand FJDFRC’s treatment program. Click here to view their coverage of our honor.

*Families Free is a licensed outpatient/co-occurring treatment center through the TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TNDMHSAS).

MeredithFirst Judicial District Felony Recovery Court Receives National Honor

FJDFRC Named National Drug Court Mentor Court

The First Judicial District Felony Recovery Court was named a national adult drug court mentor court by the NADCP National Association of Drug Court Professionals! The FJDFRC provides evidence-based holistic treatment for individuals involved with the criminal justice system rooted in substance use. This treatment includes intensive outpatient services, gender-specific trauma groups for males/females, outpatient groups/individuals, parenting education, and family therapy. The NADCP mentor courts host teams from other jurisdictions for observation and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. We are honored to be one of ten adult drug courts chosen to advance the valuable work of recovery courts. #LoveRestores

MeredithFJDFRC Named National Drug Court Mentor Court

Congratulations March Recovery Court Graduates

We want to congratulate the six graduates from the combined First and Second Judicial District Felony Recovery Courts and Washington County Misdemeanor Recovery Court graduation! We enjoyed celebrating their hard work, and Families Free wants to extend a sincere thanks to all the community partners for showing their support. #LoveRestores

MeredithCongratulations March Recovery Court Graduates

Congratulations November Recovery Graduates!

This past Tuesday, November 30th, we had the great privilege of honoring our First Judicial District Felony Recovery Court graduates Kelsey, Savannah, Ira, and Matthew. Rep. Tim Hicks was our keynote speaker for the ceremony, and we enjoyed music by Matthew Owen. It’s always a joyful time when we get to celebrate this important milestone for our graduates. We know their futures are full of hope and look forward to seeing them flourish. #LoveRestores

Families Free is a licensed outpatient/co-occurring treatment center through the TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TNDMHSAS).

MeredithCongratulations November Recovery Graduates!

2019 Recovery Court Graduation

“It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness …”

On Tuesday, November 26th, Chris and Kristin were honored by members of the Families Free and First Judicial District Felony Recovery Court teams during our second annual Recovery Court Graduation. Along with current program participants, family, and friends, we all gathered together to celebrate their hard work and success.

The First Judicial District Felony Recovery Court provides alternatives to jail time, such as counseling, curriculum, and access to several opportunities that are designed to support their sobriety. It’s an important tool for those who need help staying out of the cycle of jail time, being released, and then returning.

Through this opportunity, both Kristin and Chris completed the five phases of the program and met personal goals along the way. Kristin maintained two jobs during her time in our program, bought a vehicle, has been sober since July of 2018, and she’s investing in her future by attending classes at Northeast State. 

Chris has been sober since October of 2017, completed the Morgan County Residential Recovery Court, had his license reinstated, and he continues to support his success through our program by securing safe and sober housing. Both graduates have displayed perseverance in achieving goal after goal, and in combination with their hard work, the accomplishment of completing the Recovery Court program serves as an inspiration to not only their fellow participants but also every person they meet. 

Judge Lisa Rice
Graduates Kristin Nelms and Chris Hagy
Joshua Rice shares a poem he had written honoring a friend he had lost due to a substance abuse disorder
Rachel Roden – Felony Recovery Court Coordinator
Graduate Chris Hagy with Judge Stacy Street
Graduate Kristin Nelms and Judge Lisa Rice
Jason Abernathy and Brian Bowman (who performed at the graduation), Judge Lisa Rice, Families Free Executive Director Lisa Tipton, and Clinical Director Robin Ledford
The FJDFRC team and participants invited community members to join us in lighting a candle to join in the work we are doing in the area.

We want to once again congratulate our 2019 graduates, and our team looks forward to seeing how Chris and Kristin continue to bring about positive change not only for themselves but for our community as well. #LoveRestores

We want to extend a special thank you to Judge Stacy Street, Judge Lisa Rice, Joshua Rice, Jason Abernathy, and Brian Bowman for speaking and performing during the graduation ceremony. We also want to thank the other members of the FJDFRC team which include additional recovery agencies, judges, law enforcement members, district attorneys, and public defenders who work to ensure the success of the participants.

The First Judicial Recovery Court program is funded under a grant contract with the State of Tennessee, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Meredith2019 Recovery Court Graduation

Gov. Lee Signs Executive Order to Increase Access To Recovery Courts

“Public safety extends beyond party lines and has the best interest of every Tennessean in mind,” said Gov. Bill Lee.

According to The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS), Governor Bill Lee’s FY20 budget proposal includes $4.7 million to increase access to recovery courts, supplement recovery court programming with Medication Assisted Treatment, and create a new residential recovery court for women. With $1.7 million in additional funding, recovery courts will expand capacity by 20 percent and serve an additional 500 Tennesseans each year.

MeredithGov. Lee Signs Executive Order to Increase Access To Recovery Courts