Lewiston based non-profit organization opens two convalescent homes in Winthrop
WINTHROP – Five years ago, on Father’s Day, Deb L’Etoile lost her son Cory to a fentanyl overdose. She has since been involved with An Angel’s Wing Inc., a Lewiston-based nonprofit that has helped hundreds of people recover.
At SaturdayThe organization will host a grand opening for two convalescent homes in Winthrop, one named after Cory.
Cory’s Place will focus on women while Kristopher’s Home will focus on men.
“These homes will not just be rest homes,” L’Etoile said. “The homes will include rules, drug testing, mandatory treatment, holistic healing, farm-to-table therapeutic activities, and our primary focus will be reuniting children in foster care.”
Both homes are currently accepting applications from people who are at least 18 years old and who meet a number of other requirements. L’Etoile said the organization will develop a unique plan for each resident after they undergo an admissions assessment.
“By addressing a person’s mind, body and spirit, we will address their mental, physical and spiritual needs,” she said.
The nonprofit aims to have the two homes certified by the Maine Association of Recovery Residences, which administers ethical and safety standards for recovery homes in the state.
“The home will provide members with the opportunity to build their own unique individual, social and community support network to prevent relapse and promote long-term recovery from addiction,” L’Etoile said, adding that the homes are owned by peers and be worn by volunteers. run.
L’Etoile said her son’s death motivated her to get involved in the recovery community and that Cory, born in 1970, has done well in school and sports and is captain of his high school hockey team. After attending the University of Maine, he moved to Topsham, where he worked as a lobster fisherman.
He sustained multiple back injuries while at work and had two surgeries, after which he was prescribed Oxycontin.
L’Etoile said it made a significant difference in her son.
“We were beginning to notice mood swings, missed time at work, a change in boyfriends, relationship issues, and not doing what he promised,” she said. “His girlfriend and her daughter moved out, citing addiction to Oxycontin as the reason.”
She said they tried several times to help her son but to no avail.
Knowing that drug use upset his parents, he committed to staying in recovery for 18 months. L’Etoile said he’s back at work, has a new girlfriend and his mood has drastically improved.
During this time, Cory’s father received a phone call on Father’s Day.
“He thought Cory was calling to wish him a happy Father’s Day,” she said. “Instead, Yarmouth Police called to tell us that Cory had died of an overdose. He was our beloved son, our beautiful boy, until he became addicted to opioids.”
L’Etoile said this opened her eyes to how many others are suffering similar fates to her son, and after finding an article about An Angel’s Wing and its director, Debra York, she was soon motivated to join the organization.
An Angel’s Wing was founded in 2017 with a mission to help needy community members find recovery, with a business model that York says is similar to Goodwill.
“We opened a thrift store to fund people’s rehabilitation,” she said.
The group’s first store opened on Lisbon Street in Lewiston in 2018, and in 2022 it opened a second location at Auburn Mall.
York said the organization will be hosting a combined grand opening and open house for Cory’s Place and Kristopher’s Home on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 272 Turkey Lane in Winthrop.
L’Etoile said a sign reading “Cory’s Place” will be visible above the garage doors at the site.
Applications for convalescent homes are available online at anangelswing.org.
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