Editor's note: The Senior Sleuth column will be published every two weeks.
First, let me introduce myself.
My name is Joan Miles. I recently resigned from my ESL (English as a Second Language) teaching position at College of the Redwoods. During my five years there, I taught English to students of more than 10 different ethnicities: Korean, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Hispanic, etc.
Dr. Bob Sankus, a retired physician, and I (ages 81 and 78, respectively) are senior citizens on the lookout for organizations, groups and individuals who contribute greatly to the community, especially in the areas of health, healing, nutrition, fitness, drug prevention and recovery.
Perhaps you have seen an activity in the Community Calendar that you might want to learn more about. Or maybe you would like to submit information about some beneficial activity or individual that we don't hear much about. Please let us know.
To start the ball rolling, I want to praise Sandi Morrison, director of Jordan Recovery and Humboldt Addictive Services Program (1231 Northcrest Drive, 464-7849).
HASP is one of the most effective of all the groups of any kind in Crescent City. We need to hear much more about the work they do. In early September, Bob and I had a long interview with Sandi and then a couple of days later, we sat in on a two-hour group therapy session, which was attended by 10 men in her program.
She is an absolute treasure, and the men have enormous respect for her. She believes drug addiction is a disease, and that drugs should be decriminalized.
We learned about HASP through two men from there who cut our grass. Both Mike and Raymond had the most wonderful things to say about Sandi and how she saved their lives.
Sandi has a different approach to rehab. Many programs say they must break down the participants and then build them back up, while Sandi just works to build them up.
HASP is a private program, owned by Sandi Morrison.Other drug programs come and go, but HASP has been there since the '90s. It is the umbrella program for four clean and sober houses, two houses in the Intensive Inpatient Residential Program, plus three-month, nine-month, and 18-month DUI classes, as well as other Drug Diversion classes.
Of course, drugs are a monumental problem in Crescent City. I believe the drug culture is like a giant whirlpool that can suck people in and ruin their lives. I compare the way so many are caught up in drugs now, to the '50s when we grew up, when the drug culture was much less prevalent and harmful.
Some future topics of this column will cover Gail Brotherhood's Tai Chi class, Wednesdays at 1:30 at the Methodist Church; Jong Sun Baker, nutrition guru at the Department of Social Services; and the Wheat Awareness group that meets at the library.
I hope these topics and other similar ones will be of interest to you. Please suggest more that you would like to hear about, or new groups you would like to see formed.
Reach Joan Miles at 464-2729 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.