You’ve probably heard of “pop up” stores before. The concept is pretty basic; vendors set up shops for short periods of time in various malls and public venues across a big city. Now imagine applying that business model to the world of addiction treatment. Interestingly enough that is exactly what’s happening in areas around New Jersey and the northeast U.S., thanks to the HOPE One mobile recovery access unit.
Launched this past Spring, the fully stocked van is aiming to help people battling dependencies (particularly those impacted by the opioid crisis). Items inside include narcan antidotes, treatment resources, educational pamphlets, first aid kits and even HIV/AIDS testing equipment. HOPE One is also staffed with recovery technicians, social workers and judicial experts.
Several organizations were involved in this program’s inception, including the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, the South Jersey Regional Medical Center, the local AIDS Alliance chapter and Christians United for Recovery (CURE). As local prosecutor rep Lt. Joseph Landis explained, the goal is to help those who have trouble locating treatment facilities.
“It’s hard to get people to come out to presentations or events,” he explained The Atlantic City Press. “They’re busy, they’ve worked all day, they have kids. So we really need to go to them. In doing this, we’ve already got to more people than we ever did with other events.”
The unit will be crisscrossing several regions over the summer, including New Jersey’s famed Atlantic City. The hope there, is to assist vacationers who are struggling and (with casinos and nightclubs galore) anyone who may be tempted to give into an addiction.
So far, HOPE One is getting a major push from local news outlets and social media. The van itself is extremely recognizable (an intentional move), with a large purple ribbon plastered on its front, back and sides. It also has its own Twitter page, which designates where the unit is located and heading throughout the week.
Below are a few examples of the messages going out on its viral channels…
Come out and see the inside of HOPE One today at Super Savor Liqours, 322 Howard Blvd in Mt Arlington from 9am-2pm. Free NARCAN Training and information about the opioid epidemic. pic.twitter.com/mG5DL0dKFf
— HOPE One (@HOPEOneMorris) April 16, 2018
Stop by the HOPE One team at the Rockaway Boro Library 82 E Main St in Rockaway from 10am-2pm. Free NARCAN Training and access to services for addiction and recovery. pic.twitter.com/PgG24DPTUT
— HOPE One (@HOPEOneMorris) February 15, 2018
Lt. Landis added that the model is continuing to be refined, with computers and technology hoping to be incorporated in the coming week.
“The big thing is to try and get people who are addicted to approach us,” he added. “On the spot, we’ll soon have computers that we’ll use to help people find insurance, housing, a treatment bed. The real goal is to try and get people off the street before they wind up in jail, in a hospital or worse.”
Let’s hope a concept like this can make its way to the west coast soon.