HOPE Sheds Light, a family-focused nonprofit organization that offers education, resources, support and hope to anyone impacted by substance use disorder, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Monmouth County location on Monday at 2510 Apache Road in Manasquan. The organization also has a location at 253 Chestnut St. in Toms River.
Programming at the new Manasquan location will include classes focused on wellness, nutrition and illness management, self-care, stress management, financial management, literacy education, job and parenting skills.
“We have a great blend of volunteers, staff, supporters and the recovery community with us, and that’s what a recovery center should look like,” Pamela Capaci, CEO of HOPE Sheds Light, stated. “We need to be a part of the community in every aspect, and today reflects that.”
A pivotal part of HSL’s journey into Monmouth County occurred in 2021 when it partnered with Recovery Advocates of the Jersey Shore Inc., or RAFTS.
Similar to HSL, RAFTS was a nonprofit, nonclinical, peer-based recovery community organization providing support and resources to individuals and families impacted by substance use and related disorders.
“We saw the need within our community and too many people were suffering,” said Nicole Federici, co-founder of RAFTS. “As a mom, I needed to reach out to other people to share my journey with others and encourage them to seek help and how to find good help.”
Federici started RAFTS in 2017 and quickly began working with the county and different agencies throughout Monmouth County to complete its mission.
“It was my full-time job volunteering for RAFTS, and I wanted to expand even further throughout Monmouth County,” Federici said. “The need was great, so we partnered with HOPE Sheds Light, a like-minded agency, and, through that merger, we were able to expand our services throughout Monmouth County and acquire this freestanding building. This recovery center will provide all families a place to come to without judgement and just love. That’s what we are all about, loving people into recovery.”
County Commissioner Deputy Director Susan Kiley echoed these sentiments.
“Recovery has been very close to my heart for the last 10 years,” she said. “We have a crisis in our country … we all know it. We have fentanyl pouring in over the borders and we have it put into pills that look like they are something else and they are not. It is my mission in life to do something about that. We are doing all the great things to help them out of it, but we have to prevent them from getting into it in the first place.”
Kiley concluded the ceremony by presenting HOPE Sheds Light with a Certificate of Recognition and congratulating the organization on its new location.
“You have all of our support from the Monmouth County Commissioners’ Office,” she added.