AHP Expands Groundbreaking Program for People in Recovery to Lowell, MA

The Massachusetts Access to Recovery (MA-ATR) program is a nationally recognized program for individuals who have a substance use disorder and are seeking to change their lives and remain in recovery. MA-ATR is currently expanding its program to Lowell, Masasschusetts. ATR is managed by Sudbury-based Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP). 

The ATR team has been onboarding new staff and welcoming participants into its ATR Coordination office in Lowell and MassHire in Lowell (career center) for customized employment services for people with substance use disorder. To date, ATR Lowell has enrolled approximately 55 individuals seeking recovery support services and has onboarded 18 community providers as referral portals. MassHire in Lowell additionally began teaching its first Paths to Empowerment (P2E) cohort on August 16 with 10 Lowell participants enrolled.

P2E is a 3-week job-readiness program facilitated by MassHire Career Center staff in each of the five ATR cities (Boston, Worcester, New Bedford, Springfield/Holyoke, and now Lowell). This program provides ATR participants who are interested in pursuing employment with an introduction to the world of work, career exploration, occupational outlooks, financial literacy, attitude reframing, and self-confidence building. P2E is currently taught virtually and is available in both English and Spanish.   

Lowell ATR Care Coordinator Ashley Richards said, “My favorite part is enlightening individuals of the possibility of what their life could be. When I’m doing [intake] assessments, they’re broken down and defeated and hopeless. When I give suggestions on our services to show what their life could be in the future, they light up. We give them basic needs . . . and they become so ambitious about life. Once they have these basic tools, they’re more hopeful for a better future than they were when they first came into our office.”

The ATR program has assisted more than 30,000 Massachusetts residents since it began in 2010 and has a powerful track record of success. This 6-month program enables participants to create a recovery plan unique to their own needs, choose from a wide range of recovery support services, and receive fully paid job training for sustainable careers in specific occupational areas. In addition, ATR pays an income to every ATR participant who attends the job training so they can focus, without distraction, on the training. The ATR program provides many options for recovery support services and works to build recovery-oriented systems of care. The program is managed by Advocates for Human Potential and funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services.

Doug Starbird, Program Director of Lowell House Men's Recovery Home, noted that “ATR provides much needed basic needs and job training for individuals arriving in our program. Sober home funding gives a chance for financial flexibility many of our guys have never had in order to focus on other areas of their lives.”

Lowell treatment providers that would like to be a referral portal for ATR Lowell can contact Ashley Richards at ashleyrichards@healthrecovery.org.

Learn more about the MA-ATR program at https://www.ma-atr.org/

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