When COVID-19 began shifting the landscape of daily life, Executive Director, Barbara Campbell, immediately reached out to the very populations reLink.org was designed to help.
“The first thing we did in response to the coronavirus was finding out how addiction facilities were responding. Some residential facilities were not accepting any new patients, and some were filled to capacity while others had empty beds.”
After communicating with care providers, the relink.org team then worked with community groups and developers to adapt and rehaul their website. While reLink.org had always been a free site for anyone to use the rehabilitation information and resources, their team had to make a shift to address addiction services in the midst of COVID-19. Staff that used to go out physically into the community are now utilizing Google ads, Facebook, and LinkedIn in order to spread the word about their platform, get in touch with service providers, and reach those who are addicted, recently incarcerated re-entering society, and those trapped in sex trafficking.
Though these have been the primary groups reLink.org was designed to reach, Barbara says the team has noticed an uptick in requests for food and mental health support for conditions like anxiety, depression, and loneliness since the onset of coronavirus. Fortunately, reLink.org has developed partnerships and valuable connections to organizations like the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addition Services (ODMAS), the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC), the Ohio State University social work department and medical school, as well as the Governor’s Office of Community and Faith-based Initiatives (GOCFBI).
ReLink.org was founded in 2017 by Ray Dalton after his son became wrapped up in opioid addiction four years ago. In the midst of that epidemic, Ray came to realize that a successful rehabilitation from addiction requires more than just detox and recovery—there are also needs for food, shelter, jobs to generate income, and even placement somewhere new in order to avoid the temptations of their previous surroundings. Sometimes it can be difficult for struggling individuals to access information across all 88 Ohio counties, and addiction can make research difficult. So they optimized their site to answer questions quickly and easily.
“Recovery isn’t something that happens overnight, it’s a process and you need people willing to help walk alongside you.”
Barbara became connected to this faith-based organization through her involvement in “John 17,” an organized group of faith leaders from across Northeast Ohio. For 2020, reLink.org plans to build on this faith foundation and unite the body of Christ as His hands and feet. This would include extending their platform to coordinate volunteers and additional service providers like child and family services, immigrant and refugee services, e.g. English classes. They would also like to develop an official tool to provide feedback and rating on programs and resources.
What You Can Do
- If you or someone you love has utilized a program, rehab center, or resource listed on reLink.org, their team would love to hear feedback. They also would appreciate any feedback you have on the website itself, as they strive to create a user-friendly, helpful resource for those in need.
- If you hear about new resources, the public has been a great source of information during this time that that the team can’t go out physically in person as they normally would.
- You can provide any feedback, support, or new resources to the reLink.org team by calling 216-762-0593 Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, or sending an email to [email protected]
- You can give financially or donate at relink.org/donate/