Rise Up Recovery held their annual Recovery Roast at Pioneer Park. Hundreds of people visited the event that had live music, free food and fun, and the opportunity to learn about those in recovery and how best to support them. Photo by Bruce Karnick
News
Rise Up has big week

 

By Bruce Karnick

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Rise Up Recovery, 507 Vermillion St., had a busy week last week.

Mayor Mary Fasbender stopped in at their offices on Aug. 31, honoring their important work with a proclamation marking International Overdose Awareness Day in advance of the Rise Up Recovery Roast, held Saturday, Sept. 3 in Pioneer Park.

The Recovery Roast is a public event meant to bring the community together in a public location where the participants are safe and sober. The event featured delicious food and beverages, popcorn, cotton candy, yard games, live music, testimonies, information booths and more. At least 100 people were there when The Journal stopped by to take in the event and talk to those in attendance.

“The Recovery Roast is not just for people in recovery, but for everybody else in the community to come hang out with us,” said Rise Up Recovery CoFounder Chad Neuharth.

People were excited to see those that have been on the recovery journey and to hear their stories. They loved that the Dakota County Drug Task Force was there. Many people’s

Photo by Bruce Karnick

road to recovery starts with the drug task force because they are the ones to arrest them. But the task force is more than just an arresting agency. It is there to get people help.

“As far as the task force goes, you know, they have to do their jobs and keep us, our streets and our community safe and things like that. For my story, they went above and beyond in certain ways and reached out to me and touched me. It was more than just arresting me. It was conversations with me in the back of the cop car. It was a little postitnote that they left at the scene when I was raided years ago, when my home was raided. That had a profound impact on me,” explained Neuharth.

Neuharth explained that everyone needs to hit their bottom. To some, losing their kids and home is not bottom enough. For others the bottom is not all that far. But once the bottom is hit, who is there to reach in and lift them back out? Who is there to guide them through getting help? Who is there to say “I’ve got you”?

“It took me a while after the last arrest because I didn’t have Rise Up Recovery. There was no place like Rise Up Recovery. It didn’t exist. I knew there were treatment centers that existed, but I didn’t know how to get into one. I didn’t know what that looked like. I had spent the last 15 years of my life stuck in addiction. I didn’t know anything how the world operates or where to go for help. I continued to kind of slow down and kind of try to quit myself for a while and kind of struggle with that. Because I knew I wanted to make a change. Eventually, just through word of mouth, I was able to connect with somebody at Dakota County Resource Center in West St. Paul. I heard that you could go there, and you could sign up and get into treatment. I literally got a ride up there and got dropped off at like 6 a.m. and camped out there until they opened up and I wasn’t leaving until I got sent to treatment. They did and I got sent to a 28day treatment program. It was actually at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting that they bussed us over to that I saw a speaker get up and I think he was getting like a 20year clean time medallion. He got up and told his story like I’m going to do today. It was my story, I was sitting there thinking that’s me, like he’s talking about me. Then he talks about how he was able to stay clean for 20 years and all of a sudden it was at that moment that there was some hope, like holy buckets. I can actually do this and then I got excited about recovery,” Neuharth added.

Neuharth went on to study at DCTC to earn a Network Administration degree which is still his fulltime job, but he also expanded and became a teacher at DCTC for some evening classes. Now, he also runs Rise Up Recovery with his wife Tiffany.

Rise Up Recovery is about helping those who want to recover succeed. They have the tools and resources to provide a roadmap through recovery. They have lived it; they have all hit their bottom and were able to rise up. Their goal is to provide hope to those that are hopeless, to guide those that need the help. To bring the community together with events like the Recovery Roast.

The facility at 507 Vermillion Street is a safe gathering space where people can watch a game or play some foosball or air hockey. It’s a place where people can use a computer to apply for help or jobs. It’s a space to gather in the community so they can be lifted up or lift someone up.

As he pointed to the crowd of people gathered at Pioneer Park, Neuharth added, “I’d like to say that there’s some of the best people you can ever know and best you could ever meet. The best employees you could ever have. You’re talking about people that have been through some things and are truly grateful. Just really great people and people from all different walks of life, all different kinds of stories. Every addiction touches so many different people in so many different ways. And so that’s one of my favorite things about the people here today. Some people are like me and in long term recovery from long term, hardcore addiction. Some people are just getting into recovery and just getting to know it. Some people are not even sure, so they’re just finding out what recovery is and coming here and finding out wow, these people are actually going to have some fun and then just being loved by your community.”

Sometimes, that is all people need to rise up, being loved and supported by the community.

For more information on Rise Up Recovery, visit www.riseuprecoverymn.com.

Members of the Drug Task Force, John Reiners, Bryan Hermerding and Kyle Linscheid were on hand to engage the community at the Rise Up Recovery Roast held at Pioneer Park. Many of those in recovery that were in attendance enjoyed chatting with some of the officers that helped start their road to recovery. They were also happy to dunk them in the dunk tank later in the day.

Mayor Mary Fasbender visited the Rise Up Recovery office at 507 Vermillion Street on Wednesday to proclaim the month of September as Recovery Month. Photo by Bruce Karnick

 

September 7, 2022