Ladas Hoopes McNeill

Ladas Hoopes McNeill
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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Red Project - Empowering People to Make Positive Change

Right from the get go, I'd like to tell you....I am not sure that this story is for everyone.  There are those who will disagree with the path, the purpose and methods of The Red Project.  I am right in the middle of all the arguments and I am not sure exactly where I stand on all of this....but....the story deserves to be told so those in need can make a step in the right direction, even if it's a baby step to change their life and get past the issues they face with a clean bill of health and new awareness of how great life can be.


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Addiction is real.  To be honest....addiction is a growing problem and if you think it's limited to booze....you need a wake up call.  Heroin is killing people on a daily basis.  West Michigan has a serious problem with it right now as I have heard that heroin is easier to get and costs less than marijuana.  Again, that is just what I have heard through different people....I'd hope they are all wrong, but chances are...they are not.

The Red Project began in Grand Rapids but is putting down some roots in the Muskegon area too.  The goal of the program is to recognize addiction, the problems associated with addiction and provide the tools and education necessary to help people begin to recover while protecting their health the best they can.  The Red Project offers clean syringes, overdose protection and education, HIV resting and counseling and peer groups to help those who have found themselves caught in the world of addiction and can't seem to find their way out.  Trust me....I know the feeling all too well of not having a place to turn and in as much as I recognize the thought by some that a program like this enables drug use...drug use or alcoholism is not an over night fix in someones life.


The Red Project Online


I first heard about the program from Echo Brown of The Red Project when she contacted me about the upcoming event called "The Truth" at the Frauenthal Center on October 13th.




I'll be telling my story of alcoholism and addiction, Nate Johnson will discuss his days as a crack dealer and Anny Donewald will be talking about the sex trafficking industry and her work to get women out of it.  It's going to be a powerful night of speakers and there will be groups like The Red Project on hand to tell you more about their work and how you can get help if you need it.  I had a chance to catch up with Brandon Hool to learn a little more.  Take a listen to the video below.



I hope that this article is met with an open mind.  I understand the resistance to enabling people....but I also understand that there are those who are truly lost in a world they never imagined their life would be in and that thye can't find the way out.  It's sad...it's scary and until an addict is ready for change, I guess offering a way to prevent the complications that can be associated with addiction is a step in the right direction.  If you'd like to know more about The Red Project, click on their logo below and thanks to Echo Brown for taking the time out to talk about the work going on.  Hope comes in many forms whether we can see it or not.  Here's some hope for those still suffering from addiction.  If you'd like to meet the people from The Red Project - they will be at "The Truth" on October 13th.  You can click on the image below for more details.




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