SHIFT works to help people realize recovery

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Editor’s note: The SHARE Foundation recently announced grants to 11 area nonprofits focused on intervention and prevention of crime and violence through the foundation’s Union County Violence Intervention Plan (VIP). This story is part of a series of articles highlighting the programs funded, at least in part, with those grants.

For individuals struggling from drug and/or alcohol abuse, recovery comes in many different forms. Helping people discover what recovery looks like for them and giving them the resources to achieve is Steve and Deana Young’s goal. Steve is SHIFT Life Recovery’s director, a position he stepped into last year.

The organization operates under the umbrella of Cross Life Church and SHIFT Recovery Ministries with the goal of providing a safe place for individuals struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. The faith-based outpatient treatment program uses as 12-step outpatient curriculum adapted from Teen Challenge.

“Our theme is that we want to empower people in recovery,” Steve said. “We meet Sundays at 9 a.m. and Mondays at 6:30 p.m. When people first come to us, they fill out an application and we do an assessment for them, do drug testing. We begin to work with people right where they are. We try to empower people to take steps in their lives to move forward in their recovery.”

Young, who also serves as the director of chaplaincy for the Medical Center of South Arkansas, said once an individual receives an assessment, they’re plugged into a weekly group and they are connected with a mentor. SHIFT then starts working with local organizations to find resources to help them in their recovery.

“This year, we have done a lot of what I call crisis interventions,” he said. “We have walked into homes to find people have overdosed, so we’ve gotten them medical help. We make referrals to detox units. We often see people who really need residential treatment, so we make those referrals. “

Young emphasized that the work SHIFT does is confidential. If a partner agency refers someone as part of their probation or parole, they work with that organization. Otherwise, the information, drug tests, etc. are private.

“People’s privacy is important,” he said. “There are people of all walks of life in the program. Some people are homeless; we also work with professionals who have a great 9-to-5 job. People come from all walks of life, and they need to come to somewhere that’s safe.”

To help fund the program, SHIFT Recovery Ministries received a $32,500 VIP grant from the SHARE Foundation for 2020. Young said he’s grateful for the grant, which reflects SHIFT’s goal of making a real difference in people’s lives.

“We’re not an island,” he said. “We’re very thankful that the SHARE Foundation has entrusted us with this grant and believes in what we’re doing. We have one year behind us, and we’ve learned a lot of things. We’re excited for [2020].”

• About the grants: The SHARE Foundation recently announced grants to 11 area nonprofits focused on intervention and prevention of crime and violence through the foundation’s Union County Violence Intervention Plan (VIP). The grants, totaling $324,371, are the organization’s third round of VIP grants and 32nd round of grant awards overall. With the grant announcement, the SHARE Foundation has now given more than $8 million in grants and strategic initiatives to 91 different nonprofits operating in Union County, according to a press release from the organization. The grants fund items including operations, specific programs, software purchases and more.

SHARE’s VIP program began in 2018 and focuses on six areas: mentoring, re-entry, neighborhood watches/clean neighborhoods, parenting/life skills, jobs/targeted education, and mental health/substance and drug abuse.

For more details on the SHARE Foundation, visit the website at

The foundation’s Violence Intervention Plan, its strategies and intended outcomes are available to review. Contact Debbie Watts, vice president of community impact at SHARE Foundation, at 870-881-9015 for more information or to get involved.

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