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PAWTUCKET â€” Gov. Lincoln Chafee's eyes widened when he was shown the chock-full January activities calendar for the Anchor Recovery Community Center in Pawtucket. On any given day, there were six or seven entries for meetings that ranged from Alcoholics Anonymous and quit smoking clinics to health lectures and specialized yoga classes.
Jim Gillen, Anchor Recovery Community Center's energetic director of recovery services, joked that even he has to to consult the calendar sometimes to keep up with what's going on. However, he explained to the governor that when talking about recovery from substance abuse and mental health issues, â€śone size doesn't fit allâ€ť when to comes to support services. The center's agenda, he said, â€śis community driven. It goes where it goes...wherever the help is needed.â€ť
Chafee toured the Anchor Recovery Community Center's downtown Pawtucket location on Wednesday. He had been invited by officials of The Providence Center, which sponsors the facility.
Anchor quietly opened in a vacant store front on Main Street in December 2010 as Rhode Island's first â€śrecovery community center.â€ť Since that time, officials say the facility has logged more than 125,000 individual visits and has been an integral component in helping people maintain their long-term recovery from drug and alcohol abuse and mental health issues.
As the only facility of its type in the state, Anchor has functioned as a welcoming clubhouse of sorts for individuals who have battled substance abuse and mental health problems. Among the wide ranging resources offered are peer-to-peer coaching, 12-step groups, support groups training, vocational and career services, case management, housing support and a lending library. The center also sponsors a number of health and wellness activities, including yoga, and regularly hosts social events geared towards a positive and sober lifestyle.
Read more in our print edition.