ESCANABA — Today marked the launch of a new program to fight addiction, fight crime and bring a community together. ABC 10’s Sarah Mac brings us the story.
The Angel Program is the first of it’s kind in the U.P. Thanks to community contributions, volunteers and civil servants, people who face addiction in Delta County can now turn over their drugs without fear of arrest.
Instead they get paired with an “Angel” Volunteer, who helps them on the road to recovery. “Angels” like Christine Gagnon, who is a recovered addict herself.
“Once you get to know these people, they’re not addicts they’re brothers, they’re sisters they’re husbands, they’re wives they’re mothers,” Gagnon says, “and they have the same values as everybody else does they just have drifted away from those, and if you can be a support to them and help them back, that’s the best feeling in the world.”
Gagnon says she wants to help make Delta County better for her and her family. Health, legal and city officials all agree that this program will not only help individuals and families, but also help decrease crime rates.
Delta County Prosecuting Attorney Philip Strom says, “I’m interested in seeing a healthier Delta County and a healthier Upper Peninsula. So that’s the best thing that could come out of this, is we have a healthier and safer community, and the one way to make an impact on that is to help people get sober that are currently addicted to drugs.”
The Angel Program is now up and running and officials involved are very optimistic that it will help the community based on the success rate for a similar program on the East Coast.
For more information you can contact Lt. Robert LaMarche at the Escanaba Public Safety Department at (906) 789-5911.