As printed in the Post-Journal on May 19, 2016
Foulk Fund To Support Transitional Housing And Prevention
May 19, 2016
When more than 30 people gathered recently at Shawbucks to “Be Part of the Solution” of the local heroin crisis, Kim Carlson described the need for transitional housing for drug addicts.
Since the Feb. 26 death of her 26-year-old son, Alex Foulk, of a heroin overdose, Carlson has been working tirelessly to bring awareness of the drug problem to the Jamestown community.
“If we all come together and do a little bit, we can make a difference,” Carlson assured her audience.
She described encountering a man pumping gas who recognized her as Foulk’s mother. This stranger told her how much Foulk’s support and encouragement had helped him get through cancer treatment. “Alex will always be with us,” she said.
Opioid pain medications like vicodin, oxycontin and percocet, are gateway drugs to heroin. In her opening remarks, Carlson stressed the importance of not keeping these medicines where they are accessible to children or other family or visitors. People have been known to ask to use the bathroom just so they could search for these. Carlson’s primary focus was on the need for prevention and bringing transitional housing to Jamestown, so addicts aren’t told they have to leave the community to get help. She plans to help address both of these with the Alex George Gregory Foulk Memorial Fund she established at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
Carlson is working with Rick Huber, CEO of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, to develop a place where men, women, and mothers with children can be housed while they transition back to work and family life. As she described, transitional housing is neither a half-way house nor a rehabilitation facility, but rather a safe place for recovering addicts to live while learning work-life skills.
Foulk’s sister Kasie talked about the TPT concert to benefit her brother’s memorial fund. The event will be at 7 p.m. Friday at the Willow Bay Theater, 21 E. Third St., Jamestown. Doors will open early for basket giveaways and T-shirt and frisbee sales. Tickets are $3 pre-sale for students/children and $5 pre-sale for adults. Tickets are $4 at the door for students/children and $6 for adults.
Carlson said her son’s fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation will be used exclusively for the transitional housing project and to support the prevention work of CASAC, the Chautauqua Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council. Julie Franco, coordinator of CASAC’s substance abuse prevention coalition HOPE (Healthy Opportunities, Prevention & Education) Chautauqua, can be contacted at 664-3608 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mental Health Association is a peer support recovery center that promotes acceptance and recovery principles. In addition to one-on-one meetings with recovery coaches, the Mental Health Association also offers more than two dozen peer support groups. At these weekly meetings, men and women come in and talk with others across a wide range of concerns. All services and programs are offered free of charge: call 661-9044 or visit www.mhachautauqua.org or www.facebook.com/MHAChautauqua.