Tony Vezina knows firsthand how difficult it can be to successfully navigate recovery.
He was a heroin addict, homeless for long stretches, and bounced in and out of jail on minor offenses while he was using. But eventually he was able to complete treatment, attend Portland Community College and join the student body government.
"When I was using, there weren't a lot of options," Vezina said. "But then I heard about this hangout spot, and its meant a lot to me ever since."
That hangout spot would eventually become 4D Recovery, a nonprofit community center founded in 2012 that supports young adults recovering from substance abuse. It is done by creating a safe space to gather and support one another, with a major piece being peer-to-peer support. People who were successfully able to break away from their addictions are able to work with those first diving into recovery.
"It's important for us to operate from our own experience of recovery," said Vezina, who is the co-founder and executive director of 4D Recovery.
When it comes to recovery, the magic number is five years. If a person is able to stay clean for that long, their chances of reoccurrence or relapse drops to 15%. 4D Recovery helps people to not just reach that milestone, but beyond.
"Our mentors help develop treatment strategies that worked for them," Vezina said. "People with addiction are often hopeless — but when they come in we give them love."
Now the nonprofit community center wants to use funds from Gresham Subaru to open a new location in Rockwood. The future site would operate alongside the current MLK Recovery Center in Portland and Oak Street Recovery Center in Hillsboro, which just recently opened.
Vezina said coming to East Multnomah County was an easy decision, because about 40% of their current clients already live east of Interstate 205. With the new space, the organization would be able to better serve them.
The goal is to open the Rockwood location by December of this year.
What would be coming to Rockwood is a community center where 18-35 year old adults can walk in during the evenings to play pool, videogames, enjoy events, dances, listen to music, study, read a book, make new friends and socialize. Everyone in the space has been through recovery — or is in the process of recovery — so it creates an invaluable support system that keeps people on a positive path.
"We see ourselves as a hub where people can go to get the help they need," Vezina said.
There is nothing like 4D Recovery currently available in East Multnomah County for young adults. Vezina is still looking for a suitable building, but has his eye on the area around 181st and Burnside because of how central it is to the rest of the region. Plus, being close to public transit is an important aspect for the clients.
It has been the constant support from Gresham Subaru that is allowing the group to eye this eastward expansion. The car dealership has donated more than $180,000 to 4D Recovery.
"We wouldn't be where we're at without Gresham Subaru," Vezina said. "Their donations have meant the world to us."
"We are coming to Rockwood, no matter what, because we want to help young people out in East County," Vezina said.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.