FLINT – The Serenity House is a recovery community organization spreading the message of hope to those suffering from addiction in Genesee County. Their mission is to provide a community for those suffering from addiction issues while advocating for change.
Executive Director Tara Moreno of Burton said the stigma of guilt and shame in the community is felt by those in recovery and their friends and families but Serenity House wants to help them to embrace the reality of recovery.
“Addiction isn’t a moral failure,” said Moreno, who worked previously as a reporter for View Newspapers. “It’s a medical condition as well as a spiritual malady.”
Moreno, a person in long-term recovery for more than seven years, said she thinks Genesee County is facing an epidemic.
She said addiction is no longer something plaguing just black, inner-city youth, but it has spreading outward and includes white suburban children.
“We need to educate the community and change policy,” she said. “Serenity House is there to hold events and facilitate discussion on the current public health crisis we are facing.” One of the events Moreno speaks of is the Recovery Walk which, in its first year, brought in 87 walkers and a total of 200 people throughout the day. The funds raised by the event goes towards community events offered by The Serenity House.
Their upcoming Flint Recovery Music & Art Show is planned for Jan. 16 at 5pm at The Jam Shack in Mt. Morris. The event will have several area performers who are in long-term recovery along with influential speakers from the recovery community.
Moreno said the next step for The Serenity House is to get a permanent place where they can offer educational classes.Moreno envisions a community based area of land in the Flint area that is self-sustainable with transitional housing.
At this time The Serenity House of Flint is focusing on becoming a 501c3 in the hopes of obtaining start-up funds. Moreno said she found her passion in helping people recover from the hopelessness of addiction. “I tell people all the time that the darkness is a gift. It’s merely a contrast to the know the light…There are so many amazing people suffering in addiction and it’s time we come together and change the direction we are going in and the first step is awareness.”