‘The ship is sinking:’ addiction nonprofit appeals for support

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Public commenters attended the Ingham County Board of Commissioners meeting Feb. 8 to win support for their nonprofit organization, Lifeboat Addiction Recovery Services. 

Team coordinator Noah Powell urged commissioners to consider a partnership with Lifeboat to combat substance use in the county.

“The ship is sinking,” Noah Powell told the board. “Lifeboat Addiction Recovery Services is looking to change that, but we need to do more.”

Community member Christian Powell told the board about his hopes for funding with the proposed partnership.

“What ends up happening is that people that are actually doing the work at our industries and that are helping these people day in and day out, seeing thousands of people a year, end up not getting the services that they need,” Christian Powell said.

Lifeboat provides a variety of recovery resources including peer-led support meetings, education and support with life skills such as scheduling appointments, getting a state ID back and finding housing guides.

Lifeboat Chair Deborah Smith spoke of her experience with addiction and the importance of recovery. 

“We work with (addicts) to get their names back, to get their identity back, to get their children back, to restore themselves to be our neighbors,” Smith said. “I’m your neighbor. I live here in Mason. I have a wonderful family. I have grandchildren and my kids know me now as a recovering person.”

Smith is 19 years sober from alcohol. She said that with the correct funding and resources, organizations like Lifeboat can make a difference. 

“Our lives can become better, we can become valuable people, but we have to be able to do that with the resources,” Smith said. “That’s why we are coming forward. As Noah said, the ship is sinking and we want to be the life raft.”

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