On February 26, 2016, Kim Carlson lost her only son, Alex, to a heroin overdose. Because of her love for her son, her love for the community, Kim reached out to see if anyone would be interested in being “part of the solution” to raise awareness in the community, to educate the community on the growing heroin addiction problem. This community was (and is) losing too many people to this disease.
Over 50 people showed up for the first meeting. These people wanted to hear what Kim was thinking, what they could do to be “part of the solution.” Ideas were shared and plans were made at that first meeting.
Kim spoke to groups, spreading the news of her story and the group of people wanting to help make this community healthy.
In 2016, this group of dedicated volunteers held (1) an Awareness Walk; (2) a Golf Tournament; and (3) an Alumni Hockey Tournament (team members all knew, loved, and played hockey with Alex). Successful basket raffles were held at the golf tournament and hockey game because of the giving businesses and individuals in the community.
Kim established The Alex George Gregory Foulk Memorial Fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Many individuals and families have monetarily supported this fund through generous memorial gifts.
Wanting to help with transitional housing in this community, Kim befriended the founders of the Buffalo/Niagara Oxford Houses. In February 2017, Jamestown opened the first Oxford House model for men needing a helping hand with the transition from drug/alcohol rehabilitation center back into life. The first house in Jamestown is known as The Alex House.
With the help of local Attorney Dale Robbins, a non-profit was established, A Fresh Start (also known as AFS and Alex Foulk Story). AFS has been given a home base at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 410 E. Fourth St., Jamestown. AFS meets there every Wednesday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
This is the story of AFS.
If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, or you have a loved one struggling, we want to help give someone A FRESH START. Contact AFS today!