The coronavirus pandemic presented Integrity House with some of the greatest challenges in its history. While our efforts to eradicate the virus indefinitely are far from over, I am elated to report that as of this week our residential programs are currently 100% COVID-19 free.
Achieving this outcome hasn’t been easy, especially for the individuals Integrity House serves. Addiction is a disease of isolation. The brave men and women who have recovered from the virus while under our care were saddled with two diseases simultaneously: COVID-19 and substance use disorder. Thanks to our front line healthcare heroes, aggressive testing, and effective prevention protocols, Integrity House has kept its doors open, providing essential, life-saving services.
In May, I asked for your help. The overwhelming response Integrity House received from so many has been nothing short of inspiring. Together, we raised more than $50,000 through emergency appeal contributions and general support. Our organization also received hundreds of highly coveted items like personal protective equipment, handmade face coverings, hand sanitizer, and thermometers to keep treatment going during the crisis. I am so grateful.
The Office of the State Medical Examiner has estimated that there were 319 preventable overdose fatalities in New Jersey last month, more deaths than any month in 2020. We can’t let the virus undo all of the work we’ve done. We are here, ready and willing to help.
In closing, I’d like to acknowledge the racial injustice that is causing Black communities deep pain. Black lives matter. While I will never understand the trauma George Floyd and many others have experienced, I recognize the dangers of and damage inflicted by racism. On Tuesday morning, our entire Integrity House family honored Mr. Floyd’s memory with eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence. I was humbly reminded of a fundamental principle: at Integrity House, all are worthy of recovery.
Integrity House denounces racism and pledges to continue its efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion among its staff, board, programs, and the larger community. I urge all—our staff, clients, families, neighbors, friends—to listen more intently, behave more justly, and react more compassionately. All of us have an important role to play in making our communities safer, healthier, and more equitable.
The inequities that are prevalent across every American system will not correct themselves overnight. We have challenging work ahead of us, but together, we can do anything.
Thank you for your support of Integrity House.
INTEGRITY HOUSE THANKS THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE CRISIS
Bagel Spot of Union
Selina Jimenez Ballard
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center
Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe
Trish and Robert Budsock
Debra and Matthew Chanin
Christopher J. Morrisey Scholarship Foundation
Elizabeth Housing Authority
Henry Snyder High School Alumni
Jeni and James Jaghab
Dr. Cheryl Ann Kennedy and John F. Kelly
April and Michael Kirby
Laird & Company
Maura and Tim McGovern
Med Screen Labs
Mountainside Newcomers Club
Alice and James Napolitano
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
Dr. Suchismita Ray
Jen and John Ruf
Dr. Aakash Shah
Sisters Enlisted to Empower Dreams
Darrell Terry, Sr.
Nancy and David Weeks
Dr. Jill Williams