ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Monday marked the launch of AIM Independent Living Center's newest service.
The Family Support Navigator Program helps people and their families navigate treatment, insurance options and recovery support. The system also helps find housing, transportation or any other public assistance needed throughout the recovery process.
"Addiction is a disease that affects an entire family. It does not just impact the person who is living with that addiction," says Allison O'Dell, Program Coordinator for AIM. "To be able to help families in the middle of that, who are trying to learn to cope with their loved ones addictions [or] learning to cope with their own addiction, it's very exciting for us."
Funding comes from a five year, 500-thousand dollar grant from the state--all part of Governor Cuomo's continuing effort to fight the opioid crisis.
"With the way the epidemic has gone in our area and all of the different substances being used in our area, there was definitely a need to support individuals and their families," says O'Dell.
The confidential program is free and open to all residents of Chemung, Steuben and Schuyler counties.
Another portion of the program is the education aspect. Navigators can help individuals and their families better understand addiction, how it progresses and how to better overcome it.
"We're going to meet them wherever they are in that process," says O'Dell. "Some may not know anything about addiction, [so] we're happy to teach them everything we know about addiction and about treatment options that may be available. For people who have started the process, we can come in in the middle of that, see where they're at and provide whatever other support they may need."
Residents can enroll in the program either by referral, or by calling AIM at (607) 962-8225. Walk-ins are also welcome at AIM's Elmira location at 350 West Church Street.